Rory Stewart

Roderick James Nugent Stewart OBE FRSGS FRSL (born 3 January 1973), known as Rory Stewart, is a British academic, diplomat, explorer, author, soldier and politician, who is a senior fellow at Yale University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs where he teaches politics and international relations. Prior to this appointment, he served as a minister in four different departments of the UK government, before being appointed to his final ministerial role, in the Cabinet as Secretary of State for International Development in May 2019. He resigned from this role on 24 July 2019, when Boris Johnson became prime minister. He was also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Penrith and The Border from 2010 to 2019.

Rory Stewart

Stewart in 2015
Secretary of State for International Development
In office
1 May 2019  24 July 2019
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byPenny Mordaunt
Succeeded byAlok Sharma
Junior ministerial offices
Minister of State for Prisons
In office
9 January 2018  1 May 2019
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded bySam Gyimah
Succeeded byRobert Buckland
Minister of State for Africa
In office
15 June 2017  9 January 2018
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byTobias Ellwood
Succeeded byHarriett Baldwin
Minister of State for International Development
In office
17 July 2016  9 January 2018
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byDesmond Swayne
Succeeded byHarriett Baldwin
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Water, Forestry, Rural Affairs and Resource Management
In office
12 May 2015  17 July 2016
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byDan Rogerson
Succeeded byThérèse Coffey
Further offices held
Chair of the Defence Select Committee
In office
14 May 2014  12 May 2015
Preceded byJames Arbuthnot
Succeeded byJulian Lewis
Member of Parliament
for Penrith and The Border
In office
6 May 2010  6 November 2019
Preceded byDavid Maclean
Succeeded byNeil Hudson
Personal details
Roderick James Nugent Stewart

(1973-01-03) 3 January 1973 (age 48)
British Hong Kong
Political partyLabour (before 1993)
Conservative (2009–2019)
Independent (2019–present)
Shoshana Clark
(m. 2012)
RelativesBrian Stewart (father)
EducationBalliol College, Oxford (BA)
WebsiteOfficial website
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch/service British Army
Years of service1991–1992
Rank Second Lieutenant (on probation)
Unit Black Watch

Born in British Hong Kong, Stewart was educated at the Dragon School and Eton College. After studying at Balliol College, Oxford, Stewart worked for Her Majesty's Diplomatic Service as a diplomat in Indonesia and as British Representative to Montenegro. He left the diplomatic service to undertake a two-year walk across Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, India and Nepal. He later wrote a best-selling book, The Places in Between, about his experiences. He subsequently served as a Deputy Governor in Maysan and Dhi Qar for the Coalition Provisional Authority following the 2003 invasion of Iraq and wrote a second book covering this period, Occupational Hazards or The Prince of the Marshes. In 2005 he moved to Kabul to establish and run the Turquoise Mountain Foundation. He was the Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights and the Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University from 2008 to 2010.

In 2010 Stewart was elected to the House of Commons and in 2014 was elected chair of the Defence Select Committee. He served under David Cameron as Minister for the Environment from 2015 to 2016. He served as a minister throughout Theresa May’s government as Minister of State for International Development, Minister of State for Africa and Minister of State for Prisons. He ultimately joined the Cabinet and National Security Council as Secretary of State for International Development.[1] After May announced she would be stepping down, Stewart stood as a candidate to be Leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the 2019 leadership contest. His campaign was defined by his unorthodox use of social media and opposition to a no-deal Brexit. He stated at the beginning of his campaign that he would not serve under Boris Johnson[2] and when Johnson became prime minister, in July 2019, Stewart resigned from the cabinet.

On 3 October 2019 Stewart announced he had resigned from the Conservative Party and that he would stand down as an MP at the next general election. He initially put himself up to be an independent candidate in the 2021 London mayoral election but withdrew on 6 May 2020 on the grounds of the election being postponed due to COVID-19, saying he could not maintain the campaign so long against the big budgets of the Labour and Conservative campaigns. In September 2020 he became a fellow at Yale University, teaching politics and international relations.