Dr David F Murphy, PhD

  • Associate Professor of Sustainability and Collaborative Leadership
  • Institute of Business, Industry and Leadership
  • Initiative for Leadership and Sustainability
  • Business
Dr David F Murphy, PhD


Dr David F. Murphy is Associate Professor of Sustainability & Collaborative Leadership and Academic Lead of the Initiative for Leadership & Sustainability (IFLAS), University of Cumbria.

David has extensive international experience of working on multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration with senior leaders and change agents in business, government, NGOs, and the UN system, including related teaching, applied research and consultancy on partnerships for sustainable development.

Recent projects include: an international study on collaboration for deep adaptation to climate change; and a wider review of the transformational potential of partnerships for the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

David has an MSc in Comparative Development and International Policy, and a PhD in International Policy on Sustainable Development, from the School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol.

Qualifications and memberships

  • PhD International Policy, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol (1998)
  • MSc Comparative Development and International Policy, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol (1993)
  • BEd Secondary English, University of Calgary (1987)
  • Member, Association of Sustainability Practitioners, Poole, Dorset (current)
  • Affiliate Member, Society of Editors, Cambridge (current)

Academic and research interests

  • Cross-sector collaboration on sustainable development
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Collaborative leadership and learning in multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs)
  • Monitoring and evaluation of partnering processes, governance and outcomes
  • Collaborative research, appreciative inquiry, and applied qualitative research


Recent external roles

  • Series Editor, ‘Citizenship & Sustainability in Organizations’, Routledge/Taylor & Francis, Abingdon, Oxon (current)
  • External Examiner, Imperial College London (current)
  • Senior Associate, The Partnering Initiative, London (2008-2014)
  • Senior Associate, United Nations System Staff College, Turin, Italy (2005-2008)
  • Programme Director & Director, New Academy of Business, University of Bath (1999-2004)
  • Senior Researcher, The Body Shop plc, London, UK (1998-1999)