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Rory Stewart

Rory Stewart is a renowned academic, writer, adventurer, politician, and diplomat. His achievements include serving as a UK cabinet minister, trekking across Afghanistan, and teaching at Harvard and Yale. As a speaker, he offers insights on international development, fragile states, and contemporary politics, drawing from his diverse and impactful career.

Speaker Enquiry

Rory Stewart

About Rory Stewart

Rory Stewart has led an extraordinary career as an academic, writer, adventurer, politician, and diplomat. After serving in the Army and the diplomatic service, he embarked on a trek across Afghanistan, became a fellow at Harvard, and authored several books before entering Parliament. Stewart served as a cabinet minister and brought a moderate, progressive tone to the Conservative Party leadership contest. He now teaches politics and international relations as a Senior Fellow at Yale.

During his university years, Stewart tutored Princes William and Harry during the summer. Post-university, he served briefly as an Army officer before joining the Diplomatic Service, with postings in Indonesia and as the British Representative in Montenegro after the Kosovo conflict. He then spent two years walking 6,000 miles across rural Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, India, and Nepal. His journey across Afghanistan shortly after the US invasion is detailed in his award-winning book, “The Places In Between.”

Stewart was later appointed Deputy Governor of two provinces in Southern Iraq, Maysan and Dhi Qar. His duties included organizing elections, resolving disputes, and implementing development projects. He faced civil discontentment and a siege of his compound, experiences which he recounted in another best-selling book, “The Prince of the Marshes – And Other Occupational Hazards of A Year in Iraq.”

After establishing a charity in Kabul and serving as a Professor of Human Rights at Harvard, Stewart returned to the UK and was elected as an MP. He chaired the Defence Select Committee and held ministerial positions in international development and prisons, culminating in his role as Secretary of State for International Development. Following Theresa May’s resignation, Stewart ran for Conservative Party leadership, gaining unexpected support and appealing to many non-Conservatives with his common-sense approach and conciliatory tone.

Currently, Stewart is a Senior Fellow at Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, focusing on international development, intervention in fragile states, and the broader crisis in contemporary politics. He co-authored “Can Intervention Work?” examining the impact of political and military intervention on international affairs, human rights, and nation-building.

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