PETER Taylor-Gooby, a professor at the University of Kent's School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, has been awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.
He was an advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron's strategy unit and took part in Number 10's "progressive consensus" round table.
He said: "I found out from a phone call while walking along Hadrian's Wall. It feels really nice and made my mum really happy.
"I've been pursuing social science research at the University of Kent for more than 30 years with support from colleagues. It is very much a team effort."
Professor Taylor-Gooby joined the university in 1979 as a lecturer in social policy and became a professor in 1990. He became interested in the field after working on adventure playgrounds, teaching, claiming benefits and working in a social security office in Newcastle.
He carried out his doctorate in the Medway Towns.
In 2009 he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy – only one of six academics in his discipline to receive this honour.
He has written 22 books and more than 130 articles.
Dame Julia Goodfellow, the university's vice-chancellor, said: 'Professor Taylor-Gooby is one of the world's leading social scientists and social policy experts. His expertise has helped raised the international profile of social sciences at Kent. I congratulate him on his well-deserved honour."