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Peace, Politics & Development


Dr Demeke Mekonnen Hassen, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education of Ethiopia

MA Conflict Resolution (2003); Honorary Doctor of Education (2013)

Dr Mekonnen is a successful Ethiopian civil servant and politician and has been a member of the House of People’s Representatives since 2010. He was appointed as Deputy Prime Minister in 2012 and has also served as the Minister of Education since 2008. 


Rinchinnyamyn Amarjargal, Former PM of Mongolia

MSc Macroeconomic Policy and Planning (1995)

Rinchinnyamyn contributed to the democratic movement in Mongolia from the beginning. He was a founding member of the New Progress-Union and the National Progress-Party. Then he helped to merge those with several other parties to form the National Democratic Party. In 2001 Amarjargal established Amarjargal Foundation. This is an NGO which promotes a transparent and open society, and carries out studies on social welfare, economy, politics, and law. It also negotiates foreign help and investment.


Ifem Onuora, Equalities coach for the Professional Footballers Association, Former Scottish Professional Football Player 

BSc Social Sciences (1989)

Ifem is a former Scottish professional footballer, manger and current equalities coach for the Professional Footballers Association.


Saeb Erekat, Former Chief of the PLO Steering and Monitoring Committee

PhD Peace Studies (1984)

After gaining his doctorate in peace studies at Bradford, Erekat returned to the West Bank town of Nablus to lecture in Political Science at An-Najah National University and also served for 12 years on the editorial board of the widely circulated Palestinian newspaper, Al-Quds. He was the Palestinian chief of the PLO Steering and Monitoring Committee until 12 February 2011.


Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon, Former President of Mexico

Project Planning and Development (1973)

Ernesto is a Mexican economist and politician. He served as President of Mexico from December 1, 1994 to November 30, 2000. Since the ending of his term as president in 2000, Ernesto has been a leading voice on globalization, especially its impact on relations between developed and developing nations. 


Chakufwa Chihana, Malwaian Pro-Democracy Activist

MA Peace Studies (1984)

Chakufwa was a Malawian human rights activist, pro- democracy advocate, trade unionist and politician. He served as the Second Vice President in Malawi. Credited as the 'father of Malawian democracy' he served as leader of Malawi's first underground political movement. Awarded the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award in 1992.


Dr Saleh bin Mohammad Al-Nabit, Qatari Cabinet Minister of Development Planning and Statistics

PhD in Development Economics

His Excellency Dr Saleh was appointed as the Minister of Development Planning and Statistics in June 2013. Since June 2011, he was the Secretary-General for the Qatari General Secretariat for Development Planning (GSDP). Prieviously he served as the Director of the Institutional Development at the GSDP from 2008 to 2011. He contributed to the development of Qatar National Vision 2030 and the National Development Strategy 2011-2016. 


Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds

BA German and French (1980)

Nick is a currently Bishop of Leeds (Since 2014) and a former Bishop of Bradford, an experienced broadcaster regularly appearing on Pause for Thought on BBC Radio 2. He has also authored six books. 


John Hegley, Poet

BSc Social Sciences (1976)

John began his comedy career in 1980 and has gone on to appear on television and featured on radio. He has also written numerous books.


Martin Fletcher, Author, Former NBC News' Middle East correspondent and Tel Aviv Bureau Chief

BA Modern Languages (1970)

Martin is the former associate editor and former foreign editor of The Times newspaper. A political journalist specialising in foreign affairs. He now writes for magazines including GQ, Prospect and Conde Nast Traveller.


Winifred Ann Taylor, Baroness Taylor of Bolton, Former Minister for International Defence and Security (UK)

BSc Social Sciences (1969)

Ann is is a British Labour Party politician. She served as Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council and Government Chief Whip (Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury) through the late 90s. Ann was appointed to the role of Minister for International Defence and Security in 2008 and served for two years.  


Mark Burns-Williamsonthe first Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, UK.

BSc Social Sciences (1994)

Mark was elected as the first Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire in November 2012 and still holds this position. He is a Labour Party Politician and former Councillor for Castleford Central and Glasshoughton. He became Chair of the West Yorkshire Police Authority in 2003. He was elected Chair of the Association of Police Authorities in 2011 where he was instrumental in enabling the transition to the formation of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC). Mark was awarded an OBE in 2012 for services to the community and policing. 


Priscilla Elworthy, Founder of the Oxford Research Group and of Peace Direct; Director of Programmes for the World Peace Partnership

PhD in Peace Studies (1993)

Scilla is a world-renowned peace-builder and Nobel Peace Prize nominee. She founded the Oxford Research Group, a non-governmental organisation, in 1982 to develop effective dialogue between nuclear weapons policy-makers worldwide and their critics, for which she was nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2003 Scilla founded Peace Direct, a charity supporting local peace-builders in conflict areas and was awarded the Niwano Peace PrizeFrom 2005 she was adviser to Peter Gabriel, Desmond Tutu and Richard Branson in setting up The Elders. She is a member of the World Future Council.


Clive Lewis, MP and Shadow Cabinet Minister (UK)

BSc in Social and Economic Studies (1993)

Clive is an English Labour politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Norwich South since 2015. He was appointed as Shadow Defence Secretary in 2016. Before being elected to the House of Commons Clive was a BBC News TV reporter for more than a decade beginning as a BBC News trainee, eventually becoming the chief political reporter of BBC Look East.


Gavin Williamson, MP and Defence Secretary (UK)

BSc Social Sciences (1997)

Gavin is a British Conservative Party politician and was appointed as the Defence Secretary in November 2017. He was elected at the 2010 general election as Member of Parliament (MP) for South Staffordshire. He was the parliamentary private secretary (PPS) to Patrick McLoughlin as Secretary of State for Transport and was then appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the then Prime Minister David Cameron in October 2013. Gavin was the Government Chief Whip from July 2016 to October 2017.


Yerlan Aukenov, Deputy Akim (Mayor) of Almaty, Kazakhstan

MSc Public Policy and Programme Management (2007)

Yerlan (Erlan) was appointed to deputy mayor in August 2015 and is responsible for controlling the issues of industrial-innovative development, trade and development of small and medium enterprises, tourism and natural resources. 


Ousman Sowe, Director General of the State Intelligence Service (SiS) of Gambia

MA in International Politics and Security (2001) 

Ousman is a senior Government official in Gambia having held numerous top-level roles during the last decade. In 2017 Ousman was appointed as the new Director General of the State Intelligence Service (SiS) of Gambia. Before his appointment Ousman was the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. He has also served in various other Government Offices and capacities, including as Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Fisheries, and deputy permanent Secretary, Office of the President.


Sadegh Zibakalam Mofrad, Iranian University Professor, Writer and a Political Analyst

PhD Peace Studies (1990) 

Sadegh Zibakalam is Professor of Politics at the University of Tehran and is probably the best known independent analyst of the Iranian political system working within Iran. He is much sought after as a commentator, including by the BBC World Service and Al Jazeera.