Dame Nicola Brewer to give annual alumni lecture

Dame Nicola Brewer, the British High Commissioner to South Africa, is returning to Leeds on 15 October to give the annual alumni lecture.


When she was a Leeds student, Nicola Brewer (English 1980, Linguistics and Phonetics PhD 1988, Hon LLD 2009) wrote an essay on Henry James's novel The Ambassadors. She went on to represent the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from Paris to New Delhi, was Chief Executive of the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission, and since 2009 has been British High Commissioner to South Africa.  Nicola will give an insider's account of the challenges and rewards of a diplomatic life.

Nicola's career highlights include:

  • leading the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's contribution to the UK's 2005 Presidency of the EU as Director-General for Europe
  • supervising the UK's overseas bilateral aid programmes as Director General, Regional Programmes at the Department for International Development
  • support for Britons at the World Cups in Mexico and South Africa
  • being the first of two woman to job share in the foreign office at the head of department level
  • appointed as the first Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission overseeing racial equality, equal opportunities, disability rights and human rights of 60 million Britons

Her lecture, "From Leeds to Pretoria: Diplomacy, Development and Diversity" will be given:

On:  Saturday 15 October 2011

At:   11.30am-12.30pm

In:   Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre

The lecture, which is free to attend, will be followed by a three-course lunch:

At:   12.45-3.30pm

In:   University House

The lunch will cost £30 per person.

You can book online for just the lecture or for the lecture and lunch.

More information: Contact Kathy Isherwood or call 0113 343 7520.

Photo courtesy of Marcus Lyon

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