William R. Miller

Honorary Fellow

After graduating from St. Edmund Hall in 1952 (where he earned a degree in PPE), William R. Miller joined Pfizer in the United Kingdom and remained with them until 1964 when he became Overseas Resident Manager for Europe for Bristol Laboratories.

He transferred to the US from Europe in 1966. The combined Bristol-Myers Company merged with Squibb in 1989 to become Bristol-Myers Squibb, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical concerns. From 1980 to 1989, Mr. Miller had worldwide executive responsibility for Bristol-Myers’ pharmaceutical and nutritional businesses, including research. He retired from Bristol-Myers Squibb as Vice Chairman in 1991.

As an industry leader, Mr. Miller was active in the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association in the 1980’s, serving as Chairman in 1986-1987. He also served as Vice President of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations (1988-1990) and as a Governor of the World Health Industry Forum from 1986-1990. Between 1991 and 2009, he has served on the board of several biotechnology companies.

His many volunteering activities reflect his longstanding interests in music, Oxford and London.

Mr. Miller was elected Chairman of the English-Speaking Union of the United States in 1996 and served until 2009. He is now Chairman Emeritus. He served as Chairman of the International Council of the English-Speaking Union from 1999-2002 and from 2005-2008. In 2002, he received the Churchill Medal from the English-Speaking Union for his outstanding contribution to the international development of the ESU. In 2009, he received the Founder’s Award from the English-Speaking Union of the United States.

In addition to being an Honorary Fellow of St Edmund Hall, Mr. Miller is a member of the Chancellor’s Court of Benefactors and is on the Board of Americans for Oxford. In 2012, Mr. Miller was named a Distinguished Friend of Oxford.

In 2012, he founded and became Chairman of the American Fund for Westminster Abbey. He is also Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the St. Paul’s Cathedral Trust in America. He received the Sir Christopher Wren Award from St. Paul’s Cathedral, London and also became a Fellow of its College of Advocates.

In addition to this, Mr. Miller is Chairman Emeritus of the Queen Elizabeth II September 11 Garden, Managing Director of the Metropolitan Opera Association, a Director of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Trustee Emeritus of the Manhattan School of Music and a member of the Pilgrims, the St. George’s Society of New York (past president) and the Honourable Company of Freemen of the City of London of North America (past Master).

In 2000, he was appointed Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by H.M. The Queen for services to British charities in the United States of America and, in 2011, he was appointed Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by H.M. The Queen for services to UK/USA relations in business and philanthropy.

In April 2019, Mr. Miller was honoured by the Queen Elizabeth II September 11th Garden with the Winston S. Churchill Lifetime Achievement Award for Philanthropy and Business.

He is one of the Hall’s greatest supporters, having given significant donations which enabled us to build the William R Miller building in Dawson Street. He has endowed and supported a range of fellowships, including the American Fellowship in Physiology and, more recently, the William R. Miller Fellowship in Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology. He has also supported several graduate scholarships and awards and the Centre for the Creative Brain.

Mr. Miller was married to Irene Diaman Miller for almost forty years until her death in 2015. He has three children from his first marriage and two step-children. Mr. Miller resides in New York City.