David Sainsbury joined J Sainsbury plc in 1963 after graduating from King’s College, Cambridge. He received an M.B.A. from the Columbia Graduate School of Business in New York in 1971. He was Finance Director of J. Sainsbury plc from 1973 through 1990, Deputy Chairman from 1988 through 1992, and Chairman from 1992 through 1998. In October of 1997 he was named Lord Sainsbury of Turville. He was appointed the Minister of Science and Innovation for the UK from July 1998 until November 2006 and was Chairman of the Governing Body of the London Business School from 1991 through 1998 where he founded and chairs the Institute for Government. He is the founder of the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, for which he received, on behalf of the Sainsbury family, the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Philanthropy in 2003.
He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society, and an Honorary Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He has Honorary Doctorates from Cambridge, Oxford, Manchester, and Imperial College, and is an Honorary Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge.
He is the author of two Fabian pamphlets Government and Industry: A New Partnership and Science and Innovation Policies in a Global Economy, and is co-author with Christopher Smallwood of Wealth Creation and Jobs published by the Public Policy Centre. He recently authored the book Progressive Capitalism: How to Achieve Economic Growth, Liberty and Social Justice and was elected Chancellor of the University of Cambridge in October 2011.