Skip to content
Open menu Close menu

PS Colin Leeman C‌olin Leeman

BA (2001)

‘Although I graduated in 2001 I didn’t actually leave Bradford until 2003, having spent 2years as the UBU Sports and Societies Officer. In September 2003 I joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In June 2005 I was sent on my first overseas posting- as the British Vice Consul to Baghdad. My job was mostly dealing with British, EU and Commonwealth nationals who got into trouble here - so med-evacs, body repatriations and kidnaps took up most of my time, running our visa operation took up the remainder. In December 2005 I moved into political work and am now the Embassy lead on human rights issues. This involves work on human rights institutions, internally displaced people, Iraqi and coalition detention practices and wider assistance issues in the rule of law and justice sectors. I work closely with the Iraqi Ministers for Human Rights, Justice, Women and Civil Society and the UN, US foreign service and coalition military colleagues. ‘Body armour, bombs, rockets and indirect fire are a daily part of life though living conditions have improved - from my shared pod in an underground carpark when I arrived, to purpose built, almost bomb proof accommodation. I’ve really enjoyed the chance to engage with senior Iraqi officials and politicians and hopefully make some small differences. Meeting Malcolm Chalmers in the grounds of ourAmbassador’s residence during a photo call for Jack Straw does rank as one of the more bizarre moments. In the autumn I leave for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, again to deal with domestic human rights issues and also engagement with international organisations.’

As published in: Peace Studies Alumni News, Issue 3, Summer 2006