Goldsmiths alumnus Bill Kilby awarded an OBE

Bill Kilby (BSc Psychology, 1978) has been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his exceptional contribution to international development in this year’s New Year’s Honours List. Bill has a selfless and sensitive approach, authority and personal stamina, which has earned plaudits in the most challenging and testing circumstances during his 33 years at Department for International Development (DFID).

Bill Kilby
Bill presenting at the British High Commission in Islamabad

Bill is currently Head of Asia Regional Team, working on cross-border issues, at DFID. He started his career at DFID in 1984 as a clerical officer and over his career at DFID, Bill has worked on the management of programmes in Fiji, Tajikistan, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan and Afghanistan, where he was the DFID’s Deputy Head of Office

Bill’s impressive track record in international development include:

  • Going beyond the remit of his day job to ensure the UK makes the most effective contribution it can to reduce poverty, improve life chances for the most vulnerable and protect UK national interests
  • Excellent leadership in Afghanistan helping his colleagues through a constant array of challenges and stressful situations, including dealing with the aftermath and consequences of the bomb attack in May 2017 that caused widespread damage to the Embassy and left many staff traumatised
  • Management of the large humanitarian responses to crises in Ethiopia and Eritrea in the early 2000s and directing country programmes against fluid political contexts in Pakistan and Tajikistan

Currently from Kimbolton, Bromley, Bill is married to wife Mandy and they have three children. He attended Bedford school before studying psychology at Goldsmiths from 1975 to 1978.

On receiving the award, Bill said:

“It was a total surprise and I’m absolutely delighted. Travelling has always been a big thing for me, and to be able to couple my passion for that with helping the world’s poorest, has led to a very interesting and fulfilling career. It’s jolly good news!”