Rory Stewart OBE is the Member of Parliament for Penrith and The Border. He was first elected as an MP in 2010. He served for four years on the Foreign Affairs Committee, and in 2014 was elected as the youngest ever Chair of the Defence Select Committee before becoming a Minister in 2015. In May 2019 he was appointed Secretary of State for International Development.
His previous career was in foreign affairs, particularly focused on military intervention and international development. On leave from the Foreign Service he walked for 21 months crossing Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nepal, staying in 500 village houses on the journey.
He has written four books: The Places in Between (about his walk across Afghanistan in the winter of 2001-2002), Occupational Hazards or The Prince of the Marshes (which describes his time in Southern Iraq), The Marches (about a walk through Cumbria and the Borders with his father), and Can Intervention Work? (with Gerald Knaus, an essay on military intervention). 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 was educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford, and was a Fellow at Harvard from 2004 to 2005 before taking up his Professorial chair in 2008.