Former Governor of Hong Kong, Lord Chris Patten oversaw the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997. A keynote speaker on emerging markets and international affairs, Chris draws on his prolific experience in these areas. He was also the former Chairman of the BBC Trust, he served as a Chairman of the Conservative Party, and he was involved in setting up the Good Friday Peace Agreement in Northern Ireland.
Ex-Governor of Hong Kong in charge of the handover to China in 1999, Lord Patten is an expert in emerging markets and a sought-after keynote speaker and commentator on world affairs. He is the former Chairman of the BBC Trust, and Chancellor of The University of Oxford.
After graduating from Balliol College, Oxford, Lord Patten joined the Conservative Research Department and was seconded to the Cabinet Office in 1970 where he became personal assistant and political secretary to Lord Carrington and Lord Whitelaw - Chairmen of the Conservative Party.
In 1974 he was appointed the youngest ever Director of the Conservative Research Department.
Elected as Member of Parliament for Bath in May 1979, Lord Patten held the seat until 1992.
Just before the 1983 General Election he wrote The Tory Case, a study of Conservatism, and after the ballot he 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 Patten 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 1992, a position he held until 1997, overseeing the return of Hong Kong to China. He became Chairman of the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland, which he set up under the Good Friday Peace Agreement.
From 1999 - 2004 he was European Commissioner for External Relations, and when he left he was made a life peer and took his seat in the House of Lords in January 2005.
He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh, and an Honorary Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford. He was Chancellor of Newcastle University, and was elected Chancellor of the University of Oxford in 2003. He was also Chairman of the International Crisis Group, and was named the UK Co-Chair of the UK-India Round Table.
From 2011-2014 Lord Patten was Chairman of the BBC Trust.
In 1998 he published East and West, a book on Asia and its relations with the rest of the world, followed in 2005 by Not Quite the Diplomat: Home Truths about World Affairs. Since he has published numerous highly acclaimed texts covering influential global issues.
The combination of his vast political career, and instrumental role in historical policy making ensures Chris is a highly intelligent and professional keynote speaker, adaptable to all kinds of briefs.