Rory Stewart replaces Penny Mordaunt as Secretary of State for International Development

Melanie May | 2 May 2019 | News

Rory Stewart has been appointed as Secretary of State for International Development, taking over from Penny Mordaunt, who has become the first ever female Defence Secretary.
Conservative MP for Penrith and The Border since May 2010, Stewart was appointed on 1 May 2019, and has previous experience in the Department for International Development. Previously Minister of State for the Ministry of Justice from January 2018 to May 2019, prior to that he was joint Minister of State for the Department for International Development and Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from June 2017 to January 2018. He was also Minister of State at the Department for International Development from 17 July 2016.

According to his website, before entering into politics, Stewart’s career was in foreign affairs with a focus on military intervention and international development. Briefly an infantry officer, he joined the UK Diplomatic Service, serving in Jakarta, as British representative to Montenegro in the wake of the Kosovo crisis, and ‎as the coalition Deputy-Governor of two provinces in the Marsh Arab region of Southern Iraq following the Iraq intervention of 2003.
From 2005 to 2008 he was Chair and Chief Executive of the Kabul-based Turquoise Mountain Foundation. He built this up to three hundred employees, with the Foundation’s work including restoring a section of the old city, establishing a clinic, primary school, and arts institute.
Following this, in 2008 he was appointed Ryan Family Professor of the Practice of Human Rights and Director of the Carr Centre of Human Rights at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Stewart has also written four books and was awarded an OBE for his work in Iraq.
Commenting on his appointment, Stephanie Draper, CEO for Bond, the UK network for civil society organisations working in development and aid, said:

“We thank Penny Mordaunt for the crucial leadership shown during the sector safeguarding crisis, and for championing the importance of disability and inclusion during her time as Secretary of State for International Development.
“We look forward to working with Rory Stewart who has been a strong supporter of aid and development for many years now. We hope DFID will continue to lead on safeguarding and disability inclusion, and also show leadership on a poverty-focused development agenda that champions the importance of the SDGs, both here in the UK and globally, and works to reach the world’s poorest and most marginalised people by prioritising good quality aid and development.”

Photo: Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Rory Stewart speaking at the launch event on 30 October 2017 for the London Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) Conference 2018.
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