Charles Bird, OBE, is a Teaching Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV), University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK. Between 1986 and 2010 he was a member of HM Diplomatic Service specialising in the Middle East, conflict, post-conflict, terrorism and counter-terrorism issues. Postings included to the UAE (1988–92) with involvement in Desert Storm, Belgrade (1992–93) during the war in former Yugoslavia, Macedonia (1999) for the Kosovo crisis, Greece and Nigeria. During tours in the UK his jobs included Deputy Head of Middle East Department, Head of South Asia Department, and leading a project that resulted in the formation of the interdepartmental (FCO, MoD, DfID) Stabilisation Unit, which co-ordinates the UK Government’s post conflict reconstruction work in, amongst other places, Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2003 he was seconded to the military and was on the staff of the General Officer Commanding Ist (UK) Armoured Division in Iraq, both during and for several months after the invasion. Between 2004–2008 he was on secondment to the MoD working on issues related to counter-terrorism. He is Hostile Environment and Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) trained, speaks Arabic, French and some Modern Greek, is qualified to teach English, French and Drama at secondary level, English as a Foreign Language, and has an M.Phil. in Linguistics from Cambridge. In any spare time he writes commentary pieces for the local press and has farmed pigs, sheep and poultry as well as looking after and riding horses.

Room 237, CSTPV

E: cpgb@st-andrews.ac.uk