Robert Worcester

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Sir Robert Worcester, KBE, DL born December 21, 1933, is the founder and Life President of the MORI polling and research organisation, and a member and contributor to many voluntary organisations. He is an atlanticist ideologue and plays a leading role in a variety of Elite policy planning and netowrking groups. He is well known in British research and political circles and as a media commentator, especially about voting intentions in elections. Following the sale of MORI to French research company, Ipsos, in October 2005, he became chairman of the advisory board of Ipsos Public Affairs Worldwide.


A Kansas City native, Worcester graduated from the University of Kansas in 1955, and worked for a time with management consultants McKinsey & Company.


In 1965, he worked for Opinion Research Corporation as Assistant to the Chairman, before coming to Britain in 1969 to found Market & Opinion Research International, usually known as MORI.He is Past President of the World Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR). He is a Fellow of the Marketing Society, and of the Market Research Society

University connections

Sir Robert is a Governor of the LSE, a Governor of the University of Kent and is Honorary Professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent and in the Department of Politics and International Studies at Warwick University. Sir Robert was appointed as Chancellor of the University of Kent on 13 July 2006. He took up his new role on 1 August 2006, succeeding Sir Crispin Tickell who retired after 10 years as the University’s Chancellor. Worcester has been awarded four honorary doctorates from the University of Buckingham, the University of Bradford, Middlesex University and the University of Greenwich. He has previously been Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics, in Journalism at City University and in Marketing at the University of Strathclyde.

Elite policy planning groups

As Chairman of the atlanticist dining group the Pilgrims Society, he currently co-chairs the Jamestown 2007 Commemoration British Committee. He is a Governor of the English Speaking Union, a trustee of the Magna Carta Trust, and a Governor of the Ditchley Foundation. He was also a member of the Fulbright Commission. He is an advisor to the Institute for Business Ethics and Forum for the Future. He is on the board of the United Nations Association and of the European Atlantic Group.

Worcester notes his attendance in November 2003 at the 'the Pilgrims Society luncheon with the chairman of the Magna Carta Trust, Lord Phillips, speaking on the relevance of the great charter to our two countries in even this, the 21st, century.'[1]


His clubs are the Reform Club and the Beefsteak.

Voluntary Sector

He is President of ENCAMS (Keep Britain Tidy), a Vice President of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts. Sir Robert is a Trustee of Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. He is a Freeman of the City of London. He is a Member of the Advisory Council of the National Consumer Council and a former Trustee of WWF (Worldwide Fund for Nature).

Kent connections

Sir Robert is a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Kent and a Kent County Council appointed Kent Ambassador. He is a Non-Executive Director of Kent Messenger Group and is Chairman of Maidstone Radio, CTR 105.4 fm, is on the Board of Locate in Kent. He is a Member of the Advisory Councils of the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA)and was a Non-Executive Director of the Medway Maritime Hospital NHS Trust until 2004. He is a Kent County Council appointed Kent Ambassador, on the Kent Partnership Board and the board of Locate in Kent. He and his wife, Margaret, Lady Worcester, live at the 13th century Allington Castle, on the River Medway in Kent, where Sir Robert is also one of Her Majesty's Deputy Lieutenants. They have two sons.

Official honours

He was made an Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2004 in recognition of the “outstanding services rendered to political, social and economic research and for contribution to government policy and programmes”. He took British citizenship later that year, and in 2005 his knighthood was made substantive (allowing him to use the title "Sir").


Worcester is an avowed atlanticist as his role in the Pilgrims Society shows.

Here are some samples of his views:

November 2003:

Being an American - though I've been living in the UK for 34 years - I was cheered to see poll figures showing that the British people rejected by more than four to one the "evil" image of America, with 62 per cent thinking that the US is a force for good in the world, and only 15 per cent buying the evil America idea. Support for the war in Iraq is increasing.[2]

On dining with Bush and the Queen:

The highlight of my week, my year, indeed my lifetime, was to don white tie and tails to be properly turned out for the state banquet, which, as chairman of the Pilgrims Society, which seeks to promote Anglo-American good fellowship. I'd been lucky enough to be invited, too. A spectacular event, and let me tell you, all that glistered was gold. There were 158 of the great and the good - and us. The White House staff were there in force, right out of West Wing. The ones I talked to were as chuffed as I was to be there.
There's something special about being received by the Queen, the President of the United States, Mrs Bush and the Duke of Edinburgh. What a line- up! Being American, and without any glittering decorations worn by the peers and sirs, generals and admirals, or the tiaras worn by their ladies, we expected to be at the bottom of the table. I was concerned lest someone find out that I wasn't supposed to be on the guest list at all, and there had been some slip-up, and there'd be no place set for us. Not a bit of it. There we were, on the seating plan as if we belonged. Comparing notes with one of the White House staff, I wasn't alone in feeling that way. The President's toast to Her Majesty began with acknowledging the special relationship, which he observed "didn't start out so well". In her toast she said she'd welcomed seven presidents to Buckingham Palace during her reign, "but then her reign wasn't limited to two terms of four years each". Wonderful feelings exchanged - and they will linger. [3]


Worcester is author, co-author, editor or co-editor of more than a dozen books and many articles in professional journals, newspapers and magazines. He is co-editor of the Consumer Market Research Handbook (McGraw Hill), a founding co-editor of The International Journal of Public Opinion Research and h is most recent book, with Roger Mortimore, is Explaining Labour's Second Landslide (Politico's, 2001). He writes monthly columns for Profile and Parliamentary Monitor, is a frequent contributor to the Financial Times and various other newspapers and magazines and frequently appears on British, American and Canadian television and radio.



  1. ^ Knighthood for Robert Worcester, MORI Chairman Ipsos MORI news release, 9 February 2005.
  2. ^ Robert Worcester MY WEEK: ROBERT WORCESTER Independent on Sunday, The, Nov 23, 2003.
  3. ^ Ibid.
  4. ^ Ibid.
  5. ^Public Opinion in Britain - talk by Robert Worcester at the 2001 Trilateral Commission meeting
  6. Advisory Council Institute for Business Ethics