The Rt. Hon. Lord Douglas Hurd – Former Home and Foreign Secretary. Author and Keynote Speaker
Lord Douglas Hurd retired as Foreign Secretary in July 1995, after a distinguished career in government spanning sixteen years.
After positions as Minister of State in the Foreign Office and the Home Office, Douglas Hurd 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.
He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he obtained a first-class degree in history and was President of the Cambridge Union in 1952.
After joining the Diplomatic Service, he went on to serve at the Foreign Office in Peking, New York (UN) and Rome. He 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. He was created a Life Peer in 1997.
Douglas 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 Ltd (the corporate advisory partnership owned by NatWest).
Lord Hurd was appointed Chairman, British Invisibles in December 1997. He is Chairman of the Prison Reform Trust Charity. He became a member of the Royal Commission on the Reform of the House of Lords in February 1999. In September 1999 he was appointed High Steward of Westminster Abbey.
His other pursuits include writing, walking and reading. His books include: The Search for Peace (with the 1997 BBC TV series), novels The Shape of Ice, Scotch on the Rocks, Vote to Kill, Ten Minutes to Turn the Devil (a collection of short stories, 1999) and a political thriller Image in the Water. His memoirs were published in October 2003
Lord Hurd continues to follow current domestic and foreign affairs closely, travelling widely, contributing to debates in the House of Lords, and writing articles for the Financial Times and the Yorkshire Post.
Speech topics include:
- The Middle East
- British Politics
- Foreign Policy