China, the World and the Asian Economic Powerhouse
Mr. Patten was the last British Governor of Hong Kong and had unprecedented experience of dealing and negotiating with the Chinese government.
Europe and the World
Mr. Patten was until recently the European Commissioner for External Affairs – the EU’s Secretary of State. Reflecting on his experiences, Mr. Patten will address what lies ahead for the EU: How will it influence the global economic future? How should it develop its relationship with the US?
Mr. Patten chaired the independent commission tasked with organizing the police service in Northern Ireland after the 1998 Peace Agreement – he has long experience of conflict prevention and crisis management from Ireland to the Balkans and Asia, and is the Co-Chair of the International Crisis Group.
Lord Christopher Patten is a man of historical prominence, as he oversaw the last British colony transferred to another power. He is a well-known conservative British politician, former member of the House of Parliament, and the last governor of Hong Kong. He is Chairman of the BBC Trust, Chancellor of Oxford University and Co-Chair of the UK-India Round Table.
Christopher Francis Patten was born in 1944. He was educated at St Benedict's School, Ealing and Balliol College, Oxford, where he read Modern History and was elected a Domus Exhibitioner. In 1965, he won a Coolidge Travelling Scholarship to the USA.
He joined the Conservative Research Department in 1966. He was seconded to the Cabinet Office in 1970 and was personal assistant and political secretary to Lord Carrington and Lord Whitelaw when they were Chairmen of the Conservative Party from 1972-1974. In 1974 he was appointed the youngest ever Director of the Conservative Research Department, a post which he held until 1979.
Lord Patten was elected as Member of Parliament for Bath in May 1979, a seat he held until April 1992. In 1983, he wrote The Tory Case, a study of Conservatism.
Following the General Election of June 1983, Lord Patten was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Office and in September 1985 Minister of State at the Department of Education and Science. In September 1986, he became Minister for Overseas Development at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. He was appointed to the Privy Council in 1989 and was appointed a Companion of Honour in 1998. In July 1989, he became Secretary of State for the Environment. In November 1990, he was appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Chairman of the Conservative Party.
Lord Patten was appointed Governor of Hong Kong in April 1992, a position he held until 1997, overseeing the return of Hong Kong to China. He was Chairman of the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland set up under the Good Friday Peace Agreement, which reported in 1999.
From 1999 to 2004, he was European Commissioner for External Relations, and in January 2005, he took his seat in the House of Lords. In 2006 he was appointed Co-Chair of the UK-India Round Table. He has been Chairman of the BBC Trust since 2011.
He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh, and Honorary Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford. He served as Chancellor of Newcastle University from 1999 to 2009, and was elected Chancellor of the University of Oxford in 2003.
His publications include: What Next? Surviving the 21st Century (2008); Not Quite the Diplomat: Home Truths About World Affairs (2005) and East and West (1998), about Asia and its relations with the rest of the world.