Rory Stewart Biography
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Also Known As: Roderick James Nugent Stewart
Born Country: Hong Kong
Born in: British Hong Kong
Famous as: Political Leader
Spouse/Ex-: Shoshana Clark
father: Brian Stewart
mother: Sally Elizabeth Acland Nugent
children: Alexander Wolf Stewart
education: Balliol College, Dragon School, University of Oxford, Eton College
awards: Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Rory Stewart is a British diplomat, writer, politician, and former professor. After making a name for himself as an efficient diplomat of the United Kingdom in Indonesia, Montenegro, and Iraq, he ventured into teaching at 'Harvard University.' He also joined the non-governmental organization 'Turquoise Mountain Foundation' and spent 3 years working in Afghanistan. His expertise in Iraq and Afghanistan in the 2000s made him a favorite with the lawmakers of the U.S.A., the U.K., and Canada, who often sought his advice. Enriched by the experience of working as a diplomat in different foreign locations, teaching at 'Harvard,' volunteering in Afghanistan, advising law and policymakers of national and international governments, in 2009, he embarked on an impactful political career. He was voted as the Member of Parliament (MP) of the Penrith and The Border constituency and later served as a minister of different portfolios. He is also a multiple-award-winning author.
- Stewart was born Roderick James Nugent Stewart, on January 3, 1973, in British Hong Kong, presently, Hong Kong, to Sally Elizabeth Acland Nugent (nee Rose) and Brian Thomas Webster Stewart.
- Brian was a high-ranking British diplomat.
- Stewart's spent his early childhood in South Kensington, London, England. Later, he moved to Malaysia, along with his family.
- He returned to England to attend boarding schools. He attended ‘Dragon School’ in Oxford, followed by ‘Eton College’ in Berkshire.
- During his teenage years, he became a member of the 'Labour Party.'
- In 1991, he took a sabbatical for a year and worked for 5 months with the 'Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland,’ as the second lieutenant.
- He went to 'Balliol College' of 'Oxford University,’ where he studied philosophy, politics, and economics. During summers at ‘Oxford,’ he would also work as a private tutor to Prince William and Prince Harry.
- Stewart started working with 'British Foreign Office' after graduation and was posted in the embassy of the United Kingdom in Jakarta, Indonesia, between 1997 and 1999.
- He was transferred to Montenegro as the “British Representative” in 1999.
- In 2003, he was appointed the ‘Coalition Provisional Authority’ deputy governorate co-ordinator in Maysan and the deputy governorate co-ordinator/senior advisor in Dhi Qar in Iraq. Initially, he was posted to the 'KOSB Battlegroup.' He later moved to the 'Light Infantry.' He was in charge of conducting elections, negotiating peace between hostile tribes, and executing developmental plans.
- In May 2004, he was in command of his base in a 'Civil-Military Co-operation' compound in Al Amarah, when the Sadrist militia laid siege to it.
- Toward the end of 2004, he was made a “Fellow” at the 'Carr Center for Human Rights Policy' at 'Harvard University's 'John F Kennedy School of Government.'
- In mid-2008, he became the “Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights” at ‘Harvard’ and a director at the 'Carr Center.' In 2010, he quit his job at ‘Harvard’ to campaign for the parliament.
- Toward the end of 2005, he joined the non-governmental organization 'Turquoise Mountain Foundation,' founded by Prince Charles of Wales and Hamid Karzai, the erstwhile president of Afghanistan.
- In early 2006, he moved to Kabul. He spent the next 3 years carrying out various tasks for the foundation, including restoring heritage monuments in the old city of Kabul, setting infrastructure for water and power supply, and establishing healthcare and educational organizations and institutes for traditional crafts.
- In May 2010, he resigned from his job at the foundation.
- He had a stint as a member of the board of governors of the 'International Development Research Centre of Canada.'
- Owing to his experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, he was called in to advise the U.K., the U.S.A., and Canada.
- Stewart launched his political career in 2009. In the summer that year, he joined the 'Conservative Party.'
- His attempt to represent the Bracknell constituency failed. However, at an open caucus, on October 25, 2009, he was chosen as a candidate for the Penrith and The Border constituency. On May 6, 2010, he was elected as its MP.
- After joining the 'House of Commons,' he was chosen as a member of the 'Foreign Affairs Select Committee.'
- He campaigned for mobile-phone companies to provide coverage for 98% of the population. It was supported by the ‘House of Commons Culture, Media, and Sport Committee.’ In 2012, the telecommunication regulator 'Ofcom' agreed to the campaign's objectives.
- Due to his push for better broadband services in rural parts of Cumbria, many residents and businesses were provided with super-fast broadband connections. He continued to work toward improving the internet infrastructure of the region.
- In January 2014, he was assigned to find out why a lot of British veterans had resorted to crime after returning to civilian life. He withdrew from the responsibility after becoming the chairman of the 'Defence Select Committee' in May 2014. By becoming the youngest chair of a select committee, he created history in the British parliament.
- In July 2014, he initiated the 'Hands Across the Border' and worked to unite Scotland with the rest of the United Kingdom.
- After retaining his candidature from the Penrith and The Border constituency in the 2015 elections, he was made the parliamentary under-secretary of state for ‘Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.’ He served in this capacity from May 12, 2015, to July 17, 2016.
- During his tenure, he took a lot of initiatives, such as the 'Cumbria Floods Partnership,' the plastic bag tax (which brought down the use of personal bags by 85% in 6 months), and the first draft of the 25-year environment plan.
- On July 17, 2016, he was appointed the minister of state for ‘International Development,’ and within a year, he was given the additional responsibility of Africa. He remained in both these roles until January 9, 2018.
- Though he was against ‘Brexit,’ he supported the reigning prime minister Theresa May's ‘Brexit’ deal.
- Between January 9, 2018, and May 1, 2019, he served as the minister of prisons. The ‘Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018’ and the ‘Ten Prisons Project’ were his two most significant achievements during this period.
- On May 1, 2019, he was promoted to the cabinet as the secretary of state for international development. However, he resigned from this post on July 24, 2019, after Boris Johnson became the leader of the party. Before his resignation, he had unsuccessfully contested for the leadership.
- In October 2019, he announced that he would be contesting in the upcoming London mayoral election as an independent candidate.
- Stewart's first book, 'The Places in Between,' was published on June 4, 2004. It was based on his 36-day walk in Afghanistan. The book won the 'Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize' and the 'Premio de Literatura de Viaje Caminos del Cid.' It was also shortlisted for many other prizes, such as 'The Guardian First Book Award' and the 'John Llewellyn Rhys Prize.'
- Benjamin Yeoh adapted the book into a radio play, which was broadcast on 'BBC Radio 4' in 2007.
- ‘The Prince of the Marshes: and other Occupational Hazards of a Year in Iraq,' also titled 'Occupational Hazards: My Time Governing in Iraq,' was his second book and was released in December 2006. It was inspired by his experiences during his posting in Iraq.
- This memoir became the subject of a play composed by Stephen Brown in 2017, which was staged at the 'Hampstead Theatre,' London.
- He is the co-author of the book 'Can Intervention Work?,' which was first printed in 2011.
- His book ‘The Marches: Border Walks with My Father' was published in 2016. The book won the “Hunter Davies Lakeland Book of the Year” and was also named the “Waterstones Book of the Month.”
- He contributed articles to the 'Cumberland and Westmorland Herald,' 'The New York Times,' 'The New York Review of Books, ' and the 'London Review of Books.'
- He wrote for three documentaries produced by the ‘BBC’: 'The Legacy of Lawrence of Arabia' in 2010, 'Afghanistan: The Great Game – A Personal View by Rory Stewart' in 2012, and 'Border Country: The Story of Britain's Lost Middleland' in 2014.
- Stewart was made the “Officer of the Order of the British Empire” in 2004.
- In 2005, he was made a “Fellow” of the ‘Royal Society of Literature.'
- He became a “Fellow” of the ‘Royal Scottish Geographical Society' in 2009. He received the 'Livingstone Medal' from the society the same year.
- He has honorary doctorates from 'The University of Stirling,' Scotland, and the 'American University of Paris.'
- In 2012, he won the 'BAFTA Scotland Award.'
- He received the 'Ness Award' from the 'Royal Geographical Society,' U.K., in 2018.
- After he was appointed to 'Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council' in 2019, he was given the honorific title “The Right Honourable.”
- Stewart met his future wife, an American lady named Shoshana Clark, when they were working with the charity 'Turquoise Mountain Foundation' in Kabul. Back then, she was married to Noah Coburn, who was also in Kabul. Clark and Coburn separated in 2009 and divorced the following year.
- It is claimed that later, Clark had moved to England to live with Stewart. They tied the knot in 2012.
- Their first child was born in November 2014. They had their second child in April 2017. They have houses in South Kensington and Dufton, Cumbria, England.
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