Adam Parr

Started at UWA: 2019

Author, investor, strategy expert and global business leader 

I love the sheer range of what I do and the people I work with. Entrepreneurs creating and building new businesses; great engineers, scientists and programmers; with students investing in their careers. And to have the time to read, study and write – what a privilege. Dr Adam Parr

Dr Adam Parr, an Adjunct Professor at the UWA Business School, offers a wealth of experience from a 30-year career in education, investment finance, law and sport. He is an entrepreneur and venture capitalist focusing on strategy and the value that academic discipline brings to business.

Since 2012, Dr Parr has been an adviser to BHP helping to design and then implement group strategy with a particular emphasis on operational excellence. He is also an investor, adviser and director of several startups, including a number of spin-outs from the University of Oxford.

Dr Parr’s interest in strategy began when he was appointed Head of Planning for Rio Tinto in 2006. This led to a PhD, contributing to Dr Parr's lifelong commitment to education. After completing a Bachelor of Arts in English at Cambridge University, he went back to study law at the University of Westminster School of Law and Bar School. More recently, he completed his PhD at University College London in 2016 and the Special Course in Reading Classical and Literary Chinese at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.

Well known for his appointment as Chief Executive and Chairman of the Williams Formula One team, Dr Parr combined his passion for strategy with competitive sport.

He published The Art of War – Five Years in Formula One in 2012 (Haymarket Publications) and co-authored Total Competition – Lessons in Strategy from Formula One in 2016 (Simon & Schuster). His career has led to travel around the world, living and working in Europe, Japan, South Africa and Australia. He spent six years in Western Australia with Rio Tinto and began an enduring relationship with UWA in 2004.

Dr Parr's most recent work is The Mandate of Heaven, a traditional academic monograph on the first European translation of the Sunzi bingfa (Sun Tzu’s Art of War) by a Jesuit priest in Peking in the 1760s. He is also working on a graphic novel.


  • Bachelor of Arts, Cambridge University
  • PhD, University College London

External positions:

  • Chairman and Co-founder, Oxford Semantic Technologies Limited
  • Co-founder, Ox Mountain Limited
  • Director and founding investor, Apolitical Group Limited
  • Chair of Trustees, The Downforce Trust

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Helping to build a dozen pioneering companies that have created hundreds of jobs and new technologies in many fields, 2011–2019

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Helping to turn around the Williams F1 Team, 2006–2012 and Cosworth Group, 2013–2019

Being part of the transformation of a leading global resources company, 2012–Current

Co-authoring a best-selling book with Ross Brawn, 'Total Competition – Lessons in Strategy from Formula One', 2016

Adam Parr’s F1 Journey

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Research Repository

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