Richard Burge

Richard Burge

Chief Executive and host for our podcast series, Wilton Park Dialogues.

Richard was born in Hong Kong and has spent much of his life outside the UK, having worked in over 50 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Appointed in 2009 as Chief Executive at Wilton Park, he is also currently a Governor of Bridewell Royal Hospital (a major City of London educational charity) and a member of the Council of Durham University, Chair of the Council of Hatfield College, Durham, and a Commissioner to the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. He is also a Board member of the Association of Chief Executives, representing the leadership of all UK government agencies.

From 2005 to 2009, he was a Government Commissioner for Rural Communities and a trustee of the Commonwealth’s Iwokrama Rainforest Centre in Guyana. During this time, Richard was Strategy Director for the African Parks Foundation. He also established Beyond Carbon – a strategic science, technology and policy company.

From 2000 to 2005, he was Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance, a rural campaigning organisation with 120,000 members. From 1995 to 1999, Richard was the first Director General of the Zoological Society of London responsible for the management of London Zoo, Whipsnade and Europe’s largest conservation science research centre.

Richard worked for the British Council for ten years, beginning in Nigeria with his last post as Head of Africa and Middle East Development Operations.

He read zoology at the University of Durham and was a Commonwealth Scholar at the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka.



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Davutoglu, Turkish Prime Minister, Wilton Park Address, Turkey, Europe, Islam World, Middle East, religion,

Turkey’s role in responding to regional and global challenges: an ethical and strategic perspective (WP1398)

21 Jan 2015 Conference

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, HE Mr Ahmet Davutoğlu addressed Turkey’s role in responding to regional and global challenges from an ethical and strategic perspective. The Address was made before a group of London Ambassadors, representatives from …

Creating, preserving and maintaining human rights in difficult circumstances

25 Apr 2014 Podcast

We discuss what the most important issues are and how you introduce them into a country’s processes. We also ask how you relate to people and empower them and if the UN is welcome in countries where it is trying …

New trade deal negotiation between the EU and USA (WP1307)

8 Apr 2014 Podcast

We discuss the importance of trade agreements for large and small organisations and ask what impact regulations have in agreeing new deals. Our contributors talk about the changes that could take place if the new agreement goes through. Contributors: Stephen …

The relationship of international foreign policy to faith and religion (WP1311)

31 Mar 2014 Podcast

Our contributors give their personal views and talk about how the nation, through foreign policy, relates to religious and faith affairs. We ask if the progress of international policies is different in countries such as America and Egypt. Contributors are: …

Global and regional human rights (WP1291)

19 Mar 2014 Podcast

We talk about how you make countries and regions and the world cooperate in the pursuit of human rights and how our rights are being challenged. We also ask how to deal with internally displaced people and how you get …

Ben Hammersley on ‘64 things you need to know now for then’ (WP1294)

13 Feb 2014 Podcast

Ben Hammersley, a Fellow at the Brookings Institute and author of ’64 things you need to know now for then’, sets out how he sees technology and innovation shaping power and influence in the future. In particular, he considers how foreign policy …

Iran – the nuclear deal (WP1265)

20 Dec 2013 Podcast

We discuss the current situation with Iran and what will come out of this current diplomatic opportunity. We talk about what Iran’s expectations are from the rest of the world, why we are more concerned about them than other countries …

The role of women in peacemaking (WP1299)

17 Dec 2013 Podcast

Discussions about what the Mindanao peace process is and how the role of women has changed in peacemaking and what the unintended consequences are of being involved. We talk about how can the role of women can prosper and not …

The role of the media in fragile states (WP1278)

29 Nov 2013 Podcast

Discussions about what is unique about the media in fragile state circumstances and why it’s of interest to aid donors. We talk about obstacles for the media in being effective and if they can help donors understand what is happening. …

The future of agriculture and food production (WP1237)

31 Oct 2013 Podcast

We discuss whether agriculture and food production is fit for purpose and how it meets the various challenges it faces. We ask if different regions face different issues and talk about regulation and governance. Contributors are: John Kanywithia Mutunga, Chief …

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