Secretary-General Emeritus, Commonwealth Local Government Forum, CLGF; previously founding CLGF Secretary-General, 1995-2016, promoting local democracy and good governance; Assistant Director, Commonwealth Secretariat, 1988-94, dealing with Southern Africa and post-apartheid; and Director, Commonwealth Trade Union Council, 1980-88, campaigning for human and labour rights. He has extensive experience at intergovernmental level, including the UN, notably negotiations on the Sustainable Development Goals, Habitat III and the Paris Climate Agreement, 2012-16; he has worked with UNDP, UNCDF, UN Habitat, ILO, UNESCO and other UN agencies. Among the first UK officials the European Commission 1973-74, he was worked regularly with the EU, most recently negotiating a strategic partnership with the Commission and research on the Cotonou Agreement.
Dr Wright’s expertise includes intergovernmental relations and sustainable development; democratic governance and human rights; public sector reform and sub-national finances; local economic development strategy and public-private sector partnerships; and inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and human settlements. He has had high-level interaction with heads of government, national ministers, senior officials, city mayors, development agencies and private sector partners and has served on many international commissions, think tanks and editorial boards; he has also been a Commonwealth election observer on four occasions and has undertaken official missions to over 80 countries.
As well as UNA Trustee, Dr Wright is ex-officio member of the CLGF Board, trustee of the Ramphal Institute and sits on the editorial boards of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the Commonwealth Roundtable; he works with Amnesty International and the University of Kent Business School. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London and the Chair of the Canterbury Climate Action Partnership.
He holds degrees from UCL and the Universities of Reading and Kwa-Zulu Natal. He grew up in Wales and lives in Kent and London together with his wife Adele and their English setter.