Electoral Commission chair to speak at University of Buckingham lecture

Sir John Holmes will be speaking at the University of Buckingham next week
Sir John Holmes will be speaking at the University of Buckingham next week

The chair of the Electoral Commission is speaking at a public lecture at the University of Buckingham on Monday January 21.

Former diplomat Sir John Holmes GCVO, KBE, CMG will be in conversation with the university's vice-chancellor Sir Anthony Seldon at the Vinson Centre from 6.30pm.

The aim of the evening is to bring an insight into Sir John's life and find out about how the Electoral Commission works behind the scenes.

Members of the public and students from the university are invited to attend the event with doors open from 6pm and light refreshments available.

Other expected topics for conversation between Sir Anthony and Sir John include the mechanisms of the voting systems and humanitarian matters.

Sir John was a director of The Ditchley Foundation until 2016, and is now chair of the Electoral Commission, and co-chair of the International Rescue Committee UK.

His career started at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1973 working in various cities including Moscow, Paris, New Delhi, Lisbon and London until 1995 when Sir John joined the then Prime Minister, John Major, as private secretary (overseas affairs) and diplomatic advisor.

Having worked on the Middle East peace process in the 1980s, he was awarded a knighthood in 1998 primarily for his role in the Northern Ireland peace process and the Good Friday agreement.

He was ambassador to Paris before becoming the United Nations under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief co-ordinator in early 2007.

Tickets are £5 and can be booked by e-mailing alumni-events@buckingham.ac.uk