Tony Bates, PhD in Educational Administration from the University of London, was Professor of Educational Media Research at the British Open University, where he worked for twenty years as one of the founding members of staff. From 1990 to 1995, he was Executive Director, Research, Strategic Planning, and Information Technology at the Open Learning Agency of British Columbia. Subsequently, from 1995 to 2003, he was Director of the Distance Education and Technology in the Continuing Studies Division of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, and Research Team Leader of MAPLE, (the Centre for Research into Managing and Planning Learning Environments in Education), at the University of British Columbia.

He is the author of eight books, including Managing Technological Change: Strategies for University and College Leaders and, with Gary Poole, Effective Teaching with Technology in Higher Education, both published by Jossey-Bass. His research groups at the UKOU, OLA and UBC published over 350 papers in the area of distance education and the use of technology for teaching. He is on the editorial board of six journals specialising in distance education and educational technology.

Tony Bates is now President and CEO of Tony Bates Associates Ltd, a private company specialising in consultancy and training in the planning and management of e-learning and distance education. He also holds a part-time position for developing a programme of research into e-learning at the Open University of Catalonia. He is also on the Academic Advisory Board of the Volkswagen Auto Uni, based in Germany.

He has worked as a consultant in over 30 countries with institutions including the World Bank, OECD, UNESCO, national ministries of education, and several U.S. state higher education commissions.

He was awarded the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa by the Open University of Portugal in 1995, Doctor of Letters, Honoris Causa, from Laurentian University, Canada, in 2001, and Doctor Honoris Causa from Athabasca University, in June 2004.

His hobbies include golf, skiing and flying a small plane. He is married, with two sons and three grandsons.

Dr Bates and one of his grandchildren.