Douglas Alexander London, UK
- UK Shadow Foreign Secretary (2011-2015)
- Senior Fellow, Harvard University's Kennedy School
- Strategic Adviser, Pinsent Masons (2016 - present)
Rt. Hon. Douglas Alexander is a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School and the UK’s former Shadow Foreign Secretary 2011-2015.
Douglas is an expert on international trade, business, and foreign affairs. Following the UK’s decision to leave the EU in June 2016, he has been a highly sought after speaker on the constitutional, political and systematic implications of Brexit.
Douglas is also a Visiting Professor at the Policy Institute of King’s College, London. He is a Member of the European Council of Foreign Relations and a member of the Privy Council. He is a Strategic Adviser to the international law firm Pinsent Masons and is also a senior adviser to U2 frontman Bono on development and investment within and beyond Africa to drive economic growth, together with technology investment.
Douglas was first elected to parliament in 1997 and served in numerous senior UK Ministerial positions, including Minister for E-Commerce and Competitiveness, Minister for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs, and Minister for Europe. In 2006 he was appointed to the cabinet by the then Prime Minister Tony Blair becoming the Secretary of State for Transport and Secretary of State for Scotland. Douglas served as Secretary of State for International Development (2007-2010) under Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Between June 2007 and May 2010 he also served as the UK’s Governor to the World Bank.
As Secretary of State for International Development Douglas led over 2500 staff based in 39 counties with a Budget of $10.6 billion. The OECD Independent Peer Review judged the Department “an international development leader in times of global crisis”, describing it as “a capable, mission driven and decentralised development ministry which has taken the lead in a number of critical areas such as aid effectiveness, engagement in fragile states, humanitarian assistance and the reform of the international system.”
As UK Governor of the World Bank Douglas negotiated successfully for reforms including additional representation for developing countries and decentralisation of bank operations.
As Secretary of State for Transport, jointly with the Home Secretary, Douglas led the UK’s response to the 2006 Transatlantic Aircraft Terror Plot, working with Police, Intelligence Agencies, the Airlines and the US Department of Homeland Security.
As Minister of State for Europe during the UK Presidency of the European Union Douglas directly contributed to successful negotiations on Accession of Turkey and agreement of the EU Budget.
Prior to entering Parliament Douglas qualified and practiced as Solicitor in Scotland having achieved an MA Hons (1st Class), LLB (Distinction), Dip.L.P., from the University of Edinburgh (1990-1994).
Douglas has authored and edited various works including:
“Influencing Tomorrow: Future Challenges for British Foreign Policy”
“Renewing our offer not retracing our steps”, The Purple Book.
“Serving a Cause, Serving a Community”
“Europe in a Global Age”
“New Scotland New Britain”
Douglas has addressed audiences at Harvard University, Yale University, Oxford University, London School of Economics, World Economic Forum, Royal United Services Institute, International Institute for Strategic Studies, Royal Institute of International Affairs, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and 2015 Deutsche Bank Summit.
Douglas can accommodate a range of speaking requests from conference keynote addresses, panel discussion and Q&A sessions, round table events and after dinner speeches. He speaks on a range of issues including change for individuals and businesses, future trends, the geopolitical landscape, foreign affairs, UK/US domestic politics, Europe/Brexit, international development, Scottish independence, identity politics, political campaigns and communication.