Elected: 2021
Discipline: Professional, Educational and Public Sector Leadership
Professor Philip Cotton

Head, Scholars Program

Philip Cotton is Head of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program—an initiative dedicated to developing Africa’s next generation of transformation leaders and the largest of its kind. The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program enables talented but economically disadvantaged young people to complete their education, while investing in their leadership potential.
Philip, who is a citizen of both the UK and of Rwanda, previously provided leadership at the University of Rwanda, first as Principal of the College of Medicine and Health Sciences and then as Vice Chancellor. Prior to this, Philip practiced in family medicine and was professor of teaching and learning with a responsibility for student welfare at Glasgow University. A graduate of St Andrews and Glasgow universities, Philip holds several honorary professorships and is appointed as chair of the Board of Rwanda Biomedical Centre. He is a Methodist preacher, founded a fair trade organisation in Scotland and is a trustee and advisor to several small charities working in development. He is convinced of the power of compassion in the transformation of young people throughout the education system.