As diaspora strategies have become an integral aspect of national economic development strategies, so too have universities begun to formally identify and mobilise diasporic scientists, researchers and scholars in an effort to create global knowledge networks. This paper will identify this new role for diasporic academics. It begins by emphasising the increasing internationalisation of the academic labour market, arguing that an increasing number of researchers have multiple national affiliations and relationships. It shows how diasporic academics have become central to the creation of global knowledge networks. These knowledge networks derive from multiple sources including the institutional ambitions of universities who are seeking to expand their research remits in increasingly resource constrained environments, international and national funding bodies who are increasingly focused on research 'grand challenges', and the aspirations of individual researchers for whom global networks are increasingly important to successful careers.