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David Miliband served as Environment and then as Foreign Secretary under Gordon Brown – noted for his strong working relationship with Hillary Clinton and his work on human rights. He now leads the humanitarian relief organisation the International Rescue Committee. Combining insights into both UK and global politics, he considers the shifts in economic power, the effects of conflict, and the problems of globalisation and isolationism.
David Miliband is the President and CEO of the relief and development organisation the International Rescue Committee (IRC). He was the Labour MP for South Shields for over a decade, and served as Foreign Secretary under Gordon Brown.
After a short time at the IPPR think-tank, David became Tony Blair’s Head of Policy while the Labour Party was in opposition in the 1990s. After the 1997 General Election victory he became head of the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit.
After election to parliament, David was appointed Schools Minister. There followed periods as Cabinet Office Minister and as Minister of State for Communities and Local Government. As Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs he drove commitments to reducing emission levels. When Gordon Brown was appointed Prime Minister, David became Foreign Secretary. His time at the Foreign Office was marked by an eventful period in relations with Europe, terrorism and the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, and in Asia. He was particularly noted for his strong relationship with his opposite number in the US, Hilary Clinton, and for his work in international human rights.
The Miliband name is synonymous with Labour and the left as his father Ralph was a noted and influential political theorist and academic. It was inevitable then that, after Gordon Brown’s election defeat, David stood for the Labour party leadership. What made it remarkable was that he stood against his brother and fellow shadow cabinet member Ed. In an incredibly close run race, Ed narrowly defeated David. As a result, David left front line politics to avoid distracting talk of fraternal rivalries.
Today David is widely admired for his leadership of the IRC where he has raised the NGO’s profile and grown its capacity to respond to humanitarian, conflict and refugee crises. Whilst now focusing on global events, he is still noted as a Labour party insider and often referred to as trying to end the so-called Blairite/Brownite division. He has also commented widely on Brexit and continues to write and comment on politics more broadly. He is recognised as having strong links to progressive politicians across Europe and the US, and Bill Clinton once described him as "one of the ablest, most creative public servants of our time." Away from the political stage he has also served as a non-executive vice-chair of Sunderland FC and as a part-time, voluntary teacher at his old school, Haverstock in North London.
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