Joe Nellis, Professor of Global Economy at Cranfield University’s School of Management, has been awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in King Charles III’s New Year Honours List. The CBE has been awarded in recognition of Joe’s contributions to higher education, economics, business, and charity.

After completing a degree in economics at Ulster University in 1976, Joe served as a Voluntary Service Overseas teacher in Ghana for two years. This experience was to have a lasting and profound effect on Joe’s life. There he discovered a love for teaching which set the direction for his future career. Ever since, along with his family, he has kept personal links there, describing Ghana as his ‘second home’. Joe and his family have completed many development projects in the area, the most recent being the building of a modern school in a remote village on the banks of the Volta River.

His charity work has included fundraising for local charities, involving marathon running, cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats, and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

A leading academic in his field

Joe undertook postgraduate study at Warwick University, followed by academic positions at Loughborough and Keele Universities before joining Cranfield University in 1984.

Joe is one of the leading academics in his field. Now in his 40th year at Cranfield, he has taught students on every MBA cohort since he joined. While a member of faculty, he was awarded his PhD in 1991 and became Professor in 1993, establishing the Economics Group at the University one year later. In 2017, the Economics Group was ranked Number 1 in the world by the Financial Times for the teaching of economics on MBA programmes and was consistently in the global top 10 for over a decade. He was jointly responsible for the research and development of the UK’s leading house price measurement systems, the Halifax House Price Index, and the Nationwide House Price Index.

Joe has held many senior roles at Cranfield including Director of the Full-time MBA, Director of Graduate Programmes, Academic Dean, and Director of the School of Management. He was Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University from 2005-2008.

Privileged to help others through a long and impactful career

Commenting on the honour, Joe said: “Cranfield has been a huge part of my life. It holds a unique position in the higher education sector, with a global reputation. It has been a real joy to spend my career in such an exciting environment.

“I am overjoyed to receive this honour and feel privileged to have had the opportunity to make a small contribution to the development of many business leaders, nationally and internationally. I continue to enjoy the stimulation of engaging with top class minds and helping others to reach their potential.

“I would like to thank my wife, Helen, and three children who have always supported me in all that I have done through the years.”

Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University, Professor Karen Holford CBE FREng commented: “It is wonderful to have Joe’s long and impactful service recognised and rewarded in this way. On behalf of the whole University community, our warmest congratulations to Joe for this achievement.”

School in the remote village on the banks of the Volta River.