World Capital Markets Symposium

Paddy Ashdown

Member, House of Lords, President, Royal Institute of International Affairs, UK

Paddy Ashdown GCMG KBE is one of the UK’s best known and most respected political figures. He is a Member of the House of Lords and a former leader of the Liberal Democrat. In 2009, Paddy was appointed President of UNICEF UK and is also currently the President of the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

During the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Paddy was one of the leading advocates for decisive action by the international community. On return to Britain in 2006, he was awarded the GCMG for his work in Bosnia. In 2002, he was High Representative and EUSR in Bosnia. From 1978 until 2002, Paddy served on the Main Board of the Independent newspaper and on the international advisory board of Independent News and Media PLC. He received a knighthood in 2000, and entered the House of Lords a year later.

He entered the House of Commons in 1983 when he became Liberal MP for Yeovil, and in 1988 he became the first leader of the merged Liberal and Social Democratic Party, a post he held for 11 years.

After leaving the Marines 1972, he joined the Foreign Office where he was posted to the British Mission to the United Nations in Geneva where he was responsible for Britain's relations with a number of United Nations organisations.

He is the author of six books including THE CRUEL VICTORY marking the 70th anniversary of the Vercors Tragedy in 1944 published by HarperCollins in 2014. Paddy is now working on a new book about the resistance in Bordeaux between 1942 and 1944.