Michael Strubell

Michael Strubell

President, Congress of Catalan Culture Foundation

Michael Strubell was born in 1949 in Oxford (UK). His father was English and his mother was and still is Catalan. They met during her family´s exile in England following the Spanish Civil War.

He has a degree in Psychology and Physiology (PPP) from Oxford University, an M.Sc. in Psychology of Education from the Institute of Education, London University, and a degree in Psychology from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, where he also received a Diploma in Advanced Studies.

His main fields of research have been language policy and planning and related topics, especially in the field of European minority languages.

He taught at international schools for eight years, before moving to Barcelona to work for the restored Catalan government (1980 to 1999), where he held several posts in the language planning agency, devoted to the promotion and recovery of Catalan. He is a member (and former secretary) of the Consell Social de la Llengua Catalana.

From 1999 to his retirement in 2014 he lectured at the UOC (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya) in Barcelona in language planning and sociolinguistics. He was deputy director of the Estudis d'Humanitats i Filologia, and from 2001 to 2004 he was the director of the Humanities degree programme. He was a co-author of the White Paper on the Humanities degree (2005) written for ANECA, Spain’s Universities quality agency. He was executive Secretary and later Director of the Linguamón-UOC Chair in Multilingualism (2009-2014).

He is author (or co-author) of dozens of academic papers, and of eight books, as well as several Reports for European institutions. He has sat on the editorial boards of four academic journals in the fields of language policy and sociolinguistics.

He has been a consultant for the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, for language-policy-related missions to Kazakhstan, Estonia, Latvia, Croatia, the Russian Federation and other countries. He helped draft several sets of “Recommendations” on the rights of National Minorities, for the OSCE, and coordinated half a dozen European research projects.

Outside the academic world he is a board member of several private foundations in the fields of language, culture and the handicapped.

Without ever being a member of a political party, he has been actively involved in the Catalan independence movement. He chaired Catalunya 2003, a political association calling for greater self-government (2002 - 2005). Since 2007 he has been a member of anotherplatform, Sobirania i Progrés, promoting the democratic path towards the freedom of the Catalan people. He was one of the founders, in 2009, of the Assemblea Nacional Catalana, a grassroots organisation working for Catalonia's independence. It grew rapidly to over 30,000 members and, since 2012, has organised historic rallies and marches, particularly on Catalonia’s National Day (September 11) each year.

He is married, has two sons and a daughter, and his main hobbies are mushroom hunting, listening to classical music and hill-walking. He lives with his wife between Barcelona and Palamós (on the Costa Brava).