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CGHR Practitioner's Series with Rt. Hon. Sir Stephen O’Brien KBE

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The Centre of Governance and Human Rights is pleased to host Sir Stephen O’Brien, former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, as part of the CGHR Practitioner Series. All are welcome to attend. The talk and Q&A will be followed by drinks with the speaker.

The Rt. Hon. Sir Stephen O’Brien KBE is a British internationalist, politician, diplomat, industrialist and lawyer who completed his term as United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator towards the end of 2017.

In 2004 he founded, and then served as first chairman, of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases. He has also been Co-founder/Chairman of the leading NGO , Malaria Consortium, Vice-President/Director of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and is now Chair of the Innovative Vector Control Consortium, Global Advocate for the UN/WHO’s inter-agency Roll Back Malaria Partnership. He was appointed to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Privy Council in 2013.

After serving as a Conservative MP and in various shadow ministerial roles, he was appointed the Prime Minister’s Envoy and UK Special Representative to the Sahel in Africa, and later on United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator, leading the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

As the world’s leading advocate for crisis-affected people, he argued for compliance and accountability under International Humanitarian law and unimpeded access to people in need. His responsibilities included oversight of all UN humanitarian operations globally, and leadership of coordination mechanisms between UN agencies and other partners. In recognition of his leadership and achievements in humanitarian and development work, Stephen O’Brien was awarded a Knighthood (KBE) in June 2017.

Born in Tanzania, Sir Stephen was educated in Kenya and the United Kingdom, where he attended Emmanuel College, Cambridge University and qualified as a lawyer.

About the CGHR Practitioner Series: For those hoping to pursue a career in the ‘Third Sector’, especially amidst a broad range of organisations and agencies whose mandates can be loosely collected under the umbrella headings of ‘Human Rights and Social Justice’, ‘Conflict and Security’ or ‘Development and Humanitarian Aid,’ the terrain can be difficult to navigate. A sound academic training, the kind provided by Cambridge University, is important but certainly not enough to prepare students for the transition into working in this sector. Through a mixture of substantive discussion, personal reflection and practical advice, the CGHR Practitioner Series brings together high‐level experts working in these fields and creates a forum in which students and researchers can listen and ask questions about what this work actually involves, seek out reflections from experience on the dilemmas and challenges faced, and probe the skill set and experience needed to forge a career in these fields.

This talk is part of the Centre of Governance and Human Rights Events series.

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