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Director of Forward Thinking

April 29th, 2010

Area of Expertise: Religion, War and Conflict
Geographical Expertise - Region: Asia, Europe, North Africa and Middle East
Geographical Expertise - Country: Russia
Language: English
Field of Work: Activist/Humanitarian, Author/Novelist, Non-Governmental
City: London
Country: UK
Continent: Europe


oliver mcternan photo Oliver McTernanOliver McTernan is the director and co-founder of Forward Thinking, a UK-based organization that works to prevent and resolve conflict at a national and global level and to promote understanding between cultures.

Prior to taking up his present job in 2004 he was senior advisor to the Club of Madrid, a group of former Heads of State and Government who are committed to supporting governments in transition to democracy.

Visiting Fellow of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, 2000-2003 where he studied the failure of peace processes and the relationship between religion and conflict.

He is a Senior Associate Fellow of the UK Defense Academy and in 2002 he initiated the first post conflict discussions between the Government in Belgrade and NATO. In January 2004, he organized and directed the NATO sponsored research workshop on the Roots of Terrorism which was held in Prague.

For 25 years he was a member of the Executive Committee of Pax Christi International and was responsible for the movements East-West Dialogue program.

For 30 years he worked as a Parish Priest in Islington and Nothing Hill in Central London. In 1998 he was awarded the International Gold Medallion for his ‘outstanding contribution to inter-faith understanding’.  He resigned from being a Catholic priest in 2000 to focus on his work in conflict resolution.

In 1985 he founded Partners in Hope, a UK based charity which works to support the development of the social welfare in Russia and the former Soviet States.

His latest book Violence in God’s Name was published in August 2003. It explores the roots of violence within each of the major faith traditions.

He broadcasts regularly on the BBC, Al Jazeera and is a freelance contributor to The Guardian.

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