Charles Conn studied at Boston University’s University Professors Program before reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Balliol College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar from Massachusetts. Conn worked at the Boston Consulting Group, gained an MBA at Harvard Business School and was a Partner at McKinsey & Company, where he focused on growth strategies and energy. He was a co-author of ‘Staircases to growth’ in McKinsey Quarterly and ‘Revolution in Upstream Oil & Gas’ in the same publication. He co-founded Citysearch in 1995, and in 1997 the California Software Industry Council named him Entrepreneur of the Year. Conn oversaw the merger with Ticketmaster, acquisition of Match.com and the company’s public share offering. He became Chairman of Ticketmaster Online-Citysearch in 2001.
Conn subsequently worked for more than a decade as Senior Advisor to the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation where his conservation projects included the preservation of wild salmon ecosystems and the Palmyra Atoll research station. He published articles on conservation and conservation biology, including in the 25th anniversary edition (December 2011) of the journal Conservation Biology, and on the advantages of Foundations adopting a long-term perspective.
He is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. Mr Conn also sits on several company and non-profit boards or advisory committees, including Patagonia, the Arcadia Foundation, and the Atlantic Salmon Foundation. He acts as an adviser and investor in start-up technology companies that focus on clean energy solutions and related areas.
Conn became Warden of Rhodes House in June 2013. In September 2013, the Rhodes Trust secured a donation of £75 million from John and Marcy McCall MacBain and the McCall MacBain Foundation to support the Scholarships. Since moving to Oxford, Mr Conn has also become an Advisory Board Member of the Oxford Internet Institute. In January 2014, he became a Professorial Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford University.