Oxford alum named first CEO of Abu Dhabi tech organization

1975 Oxford High School grad Arthur Morrish is now in charge of ASPIRE, a technology organization in the UAE. Image provided

By James Hanlon
Leader Staff Writer
Arthur (Art) Morrish, a 1975 graduate of Oxford High School, was appointed chief executive officer of ASPIRE, a new technology program management pillar of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC) on May 24.
The council is responsible for defining research strategy across academia and industry in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates and a major tech hub.
“Dr. Morrish is a proven leader with deep knowledge of the advanced tech sector,” H.E. Faisal Al Bannai, Secretary General of ATRC, said in a statement. “His work on funding research that led to pioneering advancements and overseeing programmes from the drawing board to prototype to customer dovetails with ASPIRE’s mandate; to make globally impactful decisions and allocate funds to cutting-edge research.”
ASPIRE works in consultation with cross-sector industry stakeholders to frame problems that can be solved through research and development. ASPIRE will also launch challenges that will bring together local and global innovators to work on crucial research that aims to solve the world’s most pressing problems.
On his appointment, Morrish said “ASPIRE is driving the creation of future transformative technologies in Abu Dhabi. It brings together exceptional people, ideas, resources, and technologies to solve complex challenges through a rigorous discovery and inquiry-based approach. For me, it is a big challenge, a big opportunity, and to top it off, a really great team to work with.”
Morrish is a high-tech sector expert and experienced senior executive. Prior to joining ASPIRE, he was the Vice President of Advanced Concepts and Technology with Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a leading provider of electronic, communications and space systems in McKinney, Texas.
Morrish holds a PhD in analytic chemistry from the University of Maryland. His wife, Kathleen (Hicks), a 1974 graduate of Oxford High, also holds a PhD from the University of Maryland, in applied mathematics. Interestingly, they were both National Merit Scholarship Finalists their senior years in Oxford.