House and Years at Fettes:
Qualifications & Career:
BA Strathclyde University; speechwriter for Lord Steel when he was Leader of Lib Dems; Producer BBC tv; founder of a number of successful business start ups and since 1993 mostly focused on China; worked in 28 of China’s Provinces and Regions; now spending 75% of time in China and 25% in UK.
Since 1993 I followed a passion for building deeper understanding between China and the world. Currently I am NICG Group Business and Government Advisor, Deputy Chairman of the 48 Group Club and Honorary Associate of the Needham Research Institute at Cambridge University. In January 2011 I was appointed an Advisor to the Party Secretary of Yunnan Province, Qin Guangrong. In October 2011 I was appointed as Senior Consultant to HANBAN by the Director General, Ms XU Lin. Since October 2011 I have collaborated on a number of public diplomacy projects with the Spokesperson of the Chinese Peoples Political Consultative Council (CPPCC), Mr. ZHAO Qizheng.
In December 2102 I was appointed a senior advisor at the Chinese State Administration for Foreign Experts (SAFEA); in that role I became the first British national to be invited to brief the newly appointed Secretary General, XI Jinping. In January 2103 I was appointed by SAFEA to the Foreign Experts Advisory Committee (FEAC). FEAC was created on the direct instruction of the Chinese Prime Minister to provide regular policy advice to the State Council of China.
What is your most cherished memory from your time at Fettes?
Forgetting to salute the visiting General when leading the Parade at CCF Inspection and when I was the Senior Under Officer leading the day for Fettes.
And your least?
The burning down of the Study Area at Carrington – scary and I can remember the appalling smell.
What event or personality left a lasting impression on you?
Long life friendships and the very special values that Fettes instils.
Were you a conscientious student?
I was a dreadful student; my focus was elsewhere but it was such fun!
Outside the classroom, how did you spend your free time at Fettes?
On the above focus!