Douglas Hurd Keynote Speaker
- Respected British voice on foreign affairs
- Home Secretary (1985-89); British Foreign Secretary (1989-95)
- Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1984-85)
Lord Douglas Hurd is a British Conservative politician who served in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major. Having served as Minister of State in the Foreign Office (1979-83) and the Home Office (1983-84), he served as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 1984 to 1985, Home Secretary from 1985 to 1989 and Foreign Secretary from 1989 to 1995. Viewed as one of the Conservative Party’s senior elder statesmen, he is a patron of the Tory Reform Group, and remains an active figure in public life.
Lord Hurd began his career in the Diplomatic Service, serving on behalf of the Foreign Office in Beijing, New York (at the UN) and Rome. He subsequently ran Edward Heath’s private office from 1968 to 1970 and acted as his Political Secretary at 10 Downing Street from 1970 to 1974. He was MP for Mid-Oxfordshire (later Witney) from 1974 to 1997 and was made a Life Peer in 1997.
After leaving parliament, Lord Hurd was appointed Deputy Chairman of NatWest Markets and a main-board Director of NatWest Group in October 1995, retiring from the Board in April 1999. In early 1998 he became Deputy Chairman of Coutts & Co. and Chairman of the Advisory Committee of Hawkpoint Partners.
Lord Hurd is also an acclaimed writer and novelist. His fictional works include “The Shape of Ice” (1998), “Scotch on the Rocks” (1971), “Vote to Kill” (1999), “Ten Minutes to Turn the Devil” (1999) and a political thriller, “Image in the Water” (2002). His non-fiction works include “The Arrow War” (1967), “The Search for Peace” (which was made into a BBC TV series in 1997), “Memoirs” (2003), “Robert Peel: A Biography” (2007), “Choose Your Weapons” (2010) which examines the styles of Foreign Secretaries from Aberdeen to Eden, and “Disraeli” (2013).