Sam Gyimah was born in Beaconsfield in 1976. After his family returned to Ghana he was educated at Achimota Secondary School, before coming back to England for the last two years of his school education. Gyimah came to Somerville in 1995 to study PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) and during his studies was elected President of the Oxford Union. After graduating, he worked at Goldman Sachs, and in 2005 was voted CBI Entrepreneur of the Future.
In 2010, Gyimah was elected Member of Parliament for Surrey East and in 2012 he was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the then Prime Minister, David Cameron. In 2013 he was appointed a Government Whip, and in 2014 he became Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Education. He was also appointed to a second ministerial post at the Cabinet Office, with responsibility for Constitutional Affairs. In 2018 he became Minister for Universities, Technology, Science and Innovation.
Gyimah rebelled against the government in 2019 when it moved to block a no-deal Brexit. He had the Conservative whip removed and subsequently joined the Liberal Democrats. He is currently a board member of Oxford University Innovation, a technology transfer and consultancy company which manages the research and development of University spin-offs. He has also re-joined Goldman Sachs as a non-executive director of Goldman Sachs International and Goldman Sachs International Bank.
Sam Gyimah on Somerville During his studies, Gyimah began to struggle financially and found that he could not afford to pay his rent. He was approached by Somerville’s Bursar and offered help: ‘So they converted my entire rent for while I was there into a loan which I subsequently paid when I graduated. Since then I’ve been involved with the college helping raise bursary funds for disadvantaged students.’