Rory Stewart is the Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Penrith and The Border, a constituency in Northern Cumbria. He was briefly in the army, before serving in the diplomatic service, running a charity in Afghanistan, and teaching at Harvard University. He is the author of three books and walked 6000 miles across Asia between 2000 and 2002.
He joined the Diplomatic Service, serving in the British Embassy in Indonesia, and as British representative to Montenegro. Between 2000 and 2002, the Foreign Office granted him leave of absence, which he used to travel 6000 miles on foot across Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nepal. On his return, and following the coalition intervention in Iraq in 2003, he was appointed as Coalition Deputy Governor, responsible for two provinces in the Marsh Arab region of Southern Iraq.
In 2005 he moved to Afghanistan where he established and ran a charity, the Turquoise Mountain Foundation, and lived for three years in Kabul. He returned to Harvard at the end of 2008, when he was appointed director of the Carr Centre for Human Rights Policy, and the Ryan Professor of Human Rights, at the Harvard Kennedy School.
He has been a member of the UK parliament’s Foreign Affairs Select Committee, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary group on Local Democracy, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Mountain Rescue, and Treasurer of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Upland Farming. In May 2014, he was elected Chair of the Defence Select Committee by his parliamentary colleagues.
He has written three books, The Places in Between, The Prince of the Marshes, and Can Intervention Work? He has presented three BBC television documentaries; In Search of Lawrence of Arabia, Afghanistan: The Great Game, and Border Country: The Story of Britain’s Lost Middleland. He has written over seventy articles on parliament, and UK politics.