Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust / About


The Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust is a new organisation established to bring together and develop the inspiring educational work founded by Lord Weidenfeld and previously run by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue.

 Following Lord Weidenfeld's sad passing in January 2016, the Trust has been inundated with tributes from scholars both past and present. You can read these tributes here.

The WHT builds upon Lord Weidenfeld's work with academics, cultural experts and aspiring young leaders; these unique projects reach out to individuals who might otherwise have less opportunity to participate in high level academic study, discussion and debate.

Weidenfeld Scholarships and Leadership Programme

The WHT runs the Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Scholarships and Leadership Programme based at the University of Oxford. This graduate scheme provides talented young people from developing and emerging economies with full scholarships to Oxford, alongside a specially created and highly valued leadership training programme focusing on the skills they will need to become leaders in whatever fields they choose on a national and global scale.


To mark the occasion of Lord Weidenfeld’s 95th Birthday - and building upon the impact and success of the programme - an endowment fund for these scholarships was launched in 2015. Spearheaded by Michael Lewis, Chairman of the ISD, and André Hoffmann, a long-standing supporter of the programme, the endowment has already secured £9 million donor support which will guarantee the future of the Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Scholarships in perpetuity. The University of Oxford has also made a £6 million contribution towards the endowment through the Oxford Graduate Scholarship Matched Fund, a significant endorsement of the programme.


As a result of this new initiative, it was decided to set up the Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust (WHT) in January 2015 to focus on the development and expansion of the scholarships, alongside other important educational initiatives. The board of trustees is composed of André Hoffmann, Michael Lewis and Alina Barnett, with day to day running being led by Director & CEO Alexandra Henderson.

George Weidenfeld, Lord Weidenfeld of Chelsea GBE, was a distinguished publisher and philanthropist. It was his passionate commitment to learning that inspired the foundation of both Humanitas and the unique Weidenfeld Scholarships & Leadership Programme.

Humanitas Programme

The WHT is also home to the Humanitas Programme, a network of Visiting Professorships run in partnership with the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. The Programme invites influential experts from around the world to take up short-term visiting professorships, speaking on a broad range of topics in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Humanitas offers a platform for experts who usually work outside academia to make a valuable contribution to the debate on the important issues facing society today through events which are free and accessible to all. Their lectures and conversations are also available online.


Listen to Lord Weidenfeld talking to Dr John Adamson about his fascinating and prolific life  at Cumberland Lodge in December 2014.



The Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales.

Charity Number 1158918.