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Omar Khan

Omar Khan

Type of Fellowship: Specialist
Year of Fellowship: 2012

Gulbenkian Fellowship

Update April 2012

The first quarter of my Fellowship really began with the residential in Dorset, and got me thinking more directly about my understanding of leadership, and what I could or should be doing with this opportunity. By the end of the week I realised that my previous view that I should use the Fellowship opportunity to develop ‘conventional’ leadership skills and that I wasn’t currently a leader were somewhat surprisingly (though happily) overturned. Working with and learning from other Fellows over the course of the week has been the most enjoyable and worthwhile aspect of my Fellowship so far.

Having realised that I need to think wider about what kind of leader I want to be has required me to think again about how to get the most out of the Fellowship. In some cases – notably my secondment ideas – this has not really changed my focus, as I continue to believe I need experience working in a larger organisation. I have still not decided on where this secondment will take place, and am again thinking more broadly about where I should or could go to get the most out of my fellowship.

One of my challenges has been fitting in my Fellowship with work. My organisation has in fact been very supportive, and we have agreed that I will work on Clore-related activities every Monday, working from home. This has afforded me more thinking time about my Fellowship and by summer I expect to have narrowed my focus again so that I choose the best secondment, training and coaching to match my notion of leadership.

Twitter: @omaromalleykhan

Current principal role: Head of Policy Research
Current principal organisation: Runnymede Trust
Other leadership role 1: Task Group Member and Chair at Olmec
Other organisation 1: Anti-poverty strategy: http://www.jrf.org.uk/topic/anti-poverty
Other leadership role 2: Impact Assessor
Other organisation 2: Sociology Research Excellence Framework

Research: Race Equality and Impact: Can unpopular causes achieve social change?
Research topics: Employment; Equality; Impact; Older people; Policy;
Secondment host: Oxfam

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