James Fergusson Keynote Speaker
- Award-winning author and journalist on Afghanistan, Somalia, and Yemen
- Regular commentator on BBC radio and television
- A specialist in global water-stress – the resource war of the future
James Fergusson is a ‘post-war correspondent’, with over 20 years of reporting experience from some of the most conflict ravaged places on earth.
A regular commentator on national tv and radio, he also lectures the military on Islamic extremism and post-war reconstruction, and is widely consulted by the British government for his noted expertise on Afghanistan and Somalia.
A full time author since 2004, he has written five books, including “A Million Bullets” (an account of the NATO campaign in Helmand, Afghanistan in 2006, which the British Army voted its Military Book of the Year), and “Taliban”, an argument for a negotiated settlement to the West’s engagement in Afghanistan. His latest book, “The World’s Most Dangerous Place” (2013) deals with Somalia as that country emerges from a generation of civil war and rule by the al-Qaida affiliates, the extremist al-Shabaab movement.
James’s specialisation in Afghanistan began in 1996. In 1998 he became the first western journalist in many years to interview the notorious warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, now a wanted terrorist with a reward of $25m on his head. This was followed by a two-year posting as a diplomat in post-war Bosnia, and then by a stint as an executive with the London-based corporate intelligence agency, Hakluyt & Co.
In 2014 he completed a Master’s degree in hydrogeology at Strathclyde University, based on first-hand field research in and around the Yemeni capital, Sana’a – which the World Bank predicts could soon become the first major world city to run out of water completely.