We are very pleased to announce that Dr Wilson Prichard is now the CEO of the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD). He takes over the role from Professor Mick Moore, who was the founding CEO of the Centre, and has led its research and growth since 2010.
The two have worked closely for many years. Will completed both his master’s and doctorate at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), where Mick co-supervised his thesis ‘Taxation, Responsiveness and Accountability in Sub-Saharan Africa’, since published by Cambridge University Press. Along with ICTD Senior Fellow Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, they are authors of the book Taxing Africa, listed by Foreign Affairs as one of the best books of 2019, and have continued to collaborate widely – including in recent writing about tax responses to Covid-19 in lower-income countries.
Since the creation of the ICTD, Will has served as a Research Director, in recent years alongside Dr Giulia Mascagni. Will’s research has focused on questions of taxation, politics and governance, relating to democracy, political budget cycles, the political economy of tax reform, and revenue mobilisation in conflict-affected countries. In that work he also directed the construction of the Government Revenue Dataset, recognised as the most accurate and comprehensive cross-country dataset on government revenue.
In recent years he has played a central role in research related to tax and informality, contributing to pioneering large-scale studies in Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and helping to chart the research agenda on taxing the informal economy. He has also been a thought leader on issues of taxation and equity, including on advocacy strategies for civil society organisations engaging in tax reform. He has argued strongly for increasing taxes on the rich, particularly by focusing on existing, underutilised taxes on personal income and property.
He is the Chair of the ICTD’s African Property Tax Initiative, under which he has recently been involved in the design and implementation of an innovative new property tax system in Freetown, which could quintuple revenue.
In his role with the ICTD, he has engaged extensively with policymakers on tax and development. He is the lead author of the World Bank’s new framework for tax reform, which centres on linking enforcement, facilitation, and trust. He has also presented widely in international settings – for example, at the United Nations on how taxation can reduce inequality and contribute to state building and better governance, as well as presenting on taxing the informal sector at the international Addis Tax Initiative conference.
We are very fortunate that that Mick will continue to work with the ICTD as a Senior Fellow, allowing him to re-focus attention on research and writing after a decade leading the Centre.
As well as being the new CEO of the ICTD and a Research Fellow of IDS, Will is an Associate Professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto, where he is based.
‘I owe Mick an enormous debt of gratitude for all he he has done for me personally, and for leading the ICTD to where it is now, and look forward to continuing our close collaboration.” said Will. “Looking ahead, I’m hugely excited to take on this new role. It is an enormous privilege to work with such an impressive team at the ICTD, and with a tremendous network of partners, across Africa in particular, who share our commitment to building more equitable, effective and accountable tax systems.’
For his part, Mick said: ‘If you like what the ICTD has been doing over the last ten years, you are going to love the next ten. In the last year, we have recruited several world class Research Fellows (Martin Hearson, Vanessa van den Boogaard, Max Gallien and Giovanni Occhiali), accomplished new members of our programme management team (James Murdoch, Kate Arnill Graham and Moyo Arewa), and recently two talented interns (Ruvimbo Chidziva and Soukayna Remmal). I know that Will is going to make a superb CEO, and consider myself lucky to be able to continue working with him and our colleagues.’
Read Mick and Will’s joint paper How Can Governments of Low-Income Countries Collect More Tax Revenue?
And their most recent joint blog: How can we tax after the pandemic?