Dr Ann OlivariusChief Executive Officer & Chair

Dr Olivarius, a member of the second class of female Rhodes Scholars, founded the Rhodes Project in 2004 to investigate the career paths and life choices of highly educated women of her generation. As CEO and Chair, she continues to lead the Rhodes Project today. 

She is the Founder and Senior Partner of McAllister Olivarius  and Managing Partner of AO Advocates. Dr Olivarius’ own accomplishments are many; early in her career, she was deeply involved in a landmark civil rights case, Alexander v. Yale, and clerked for Marilyn Hall Patel, U.S. District Judge in San Francisco. She was the first CEO and General Counsel of the Sarnoff Endowment for Cardiovascular Science, where she boosted its scientific programs and whose assets grew under her leadership from $27 million to over $100 million.  Before founding McAllister Olivarius, she ran the Corporate Department at Shearman & Sterling's Washington, D.C. office. She has been cited by the American Civil Liberties Union on its list of the nine most influential actors in the United States in the history of Title IX, the US law prohibiting discrimination at schools and universities.

She serves on the board of GenerationNext!, a UK charitythat seeks to supports the Vuleka School in Johannesburg, South Africa, by providing funds for scholarships for deprived students. She has served on the board of Autistica, the leading UK charity supporting research into autism, and OpenDemocracy USA.  She has a DPhil (1981, University of Oxford) in Economics and Management, a joint JD and MBA (Yale University, 1986) and a BA (Yale University, 1977) in Political Science. She is licensed to practice law in New York, New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Virginia. She is also a solicitor of England and Wales. McAllister Olivarius was rated in the top 2.5% of UK law firms by the assessor for Lexcel, which accredits the quality of law firm management.


Jef McAllister, Senior Editor 

Jef brings his decades of journalistic experience to bear as a consulting editor for the Rhodes Project, advising on all areas of the project's publications, online and offline. 

Jef worked for two decades as a journalist, serving as Diplomatic Correspondent, White House Correspondent and London Bureau Chief for TIME Magazine. He wrote over 500 articles for TIME on politics, public policy, diplomacy and law, including many cover stories. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and appears regularly on BBC radio and TV and Sky News. 

Jef graduated summa cum laude from Yale College, and with honours from Yale Law School. He obtained a doctorate in Modern History from the University of Oxford as a Marshall Scholar, worked as a reporter in the Phillippines as a Luce Scholar, and is the co-author of The Right Hand of Power, the memoirs of U. Alexis Johnson, a senior US. diplomat. He is also the Managing Partner of the international law firm McAllister Olivarius. 


Eric Silverman, Research Scholar and Writer

Eric is a Cultural Anthropologist, a prolific author, and an experienced professor and leader in higher education.  His scholarly research and writing has focused on a wide range of topics in regard to a Sepik River society in Papua New Guinea - the Iatmul people made famous by Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson - and the American Jewish community.  In his many newspaper guest columns and blog posts, he advocates for a wide range of social justice issues.  He has also served as an elected official, most notably on his local school board.

Eric received a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University, and then his MA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Minnesota.  His doctoral research in Papua New Guinea was funded by a Fulbright award.  He taught at DePauw University, where he served as the inaugural Edward Myers Dolan Professor of Anthropology, and then at Wheelock College starting in 2006, where he was appointed Full Professor in 2014 and then Research Professor of Anthropology in 2017.  Eric is also a Scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University.

Eric has published four books, most recently, A Cultural History of Jewish Dress (2013) and Mortuary Dialogues: Death Ritual and the Reproduction of Moral Community in Pacific Modernities (with D. Lipset, 2016).  He has also published many book chapter, journal articles, and delivered scores of conference and museum presentations in the US, Australia, and Europe.  His research has variously been funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropology, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Institute for Money, Technology, and Financial Inclusion at the University of California at Irvine, among other sources.  In addition to his work on The Rhodes Project and other McAllister Olivarius assignments, he is currently writing a book on the art, gender, the environment, and globalization in Papua New Guinea.

Eric tweets at @EKSilverman and blogs on his personal website,


Harry Draper, Project Administrator

Harry recently completed an MSc in Social Anthropology at the LSE. Alongside his studies, Harry worked with several international NGOs and community organisations to further his interest in human rights and social justice. This included organising an international roundtable event on intersectional discrimination confronting female migrants and refugees entering the UK workforce; advocating on behalf of welfare claimants to local and national government in Newham; and researching and writing on reproductive health in humanitarian settings. Harry completed his undergraduate degree in Human, Social and Political Science at the University of Cambridge. Harry enjoys his role as Administrator of the Rhodes Project, handling the everyday running of the charity.