Christopher George Maccabe CB (born 17 December 1946) is a former Political Director of the Northern Ireland Office, and a former British Joint Secretary of the British Irish Intergovernmental Conference. Since 2006 he has been involved in conflict resolution and political development in various parts of the world, including Sri Lanka, Kosovo, the Middle East, Tanzania, Iraq, Lebanon and Colombia . He is a member of a team appointed by the Minister of Justice in Northern Ireland to oversee the August 2010 agreement between the Minister and dissident republican prisoners in Maghaberry Prison. Since September 2011 he has been a member of the International Verification Commission in the Basque Country that monitors the permanent ceasefire declared by ETA at the beginning of that year. He is a Director of the Forum for Cities in Transition (Belfast) Ltd, the Independent Chair of the Belfast Conflict Resolution Consortium; and since March 2016, a Director of the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building. He was educated at Brackenber House School, the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, Queen’s University Belfast and the University of London. He is the son of Max (died 2000) and Gladys Maccabe MBE, a renowned Irish artist. He is married to Jenny and has three children.
He joined the Northern Ireland Cabinet Office as a researcher in 1971 and was appointed Assistant Private Secretary to the Chief Minister of Northern Ireland, Brian Faulkner in December 1973. After the fall of the power sharing Executive in May 1974 he served as Private Secretary to successive British Ministers in Northern Ireland between 1974 and 1977. Between 1980 and 1984 he was Special Assistant to the Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, Sir John Hermon, and a Director of the Northern Ireland Prison Service from 1988 to 1992. He was Head of the Northern Ireland Office’s Political Affairs Division from 1992 to 2000; and Political Director of the NIO and British Joint Secretary of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference from 2000 to 2008. During that time he was deeply involved in negotiations (public and private) with all the political parties in Northern Ireland, the Irish Government and paramilitary groups.
Member, Life Sentence Review Board, 1988-2000 Board Member, Institute for Advancement of Women in Politics, Queen’s University Belfast, 2003-2006 Chairman, Board of Governors, Victoria College, Belfast, 2002-2009 (and member since 1989) Honorary Fellow, Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool, Visiting lecturer, Dickinson College, Pennsylvania, 2010.
Honours and qualifications
He was appointed a Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath(CB) by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2004, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and holds bachelor's and master's degrees in law.
'The British and Peace in Northern Ireland' (Cambridge University Press 2015). Chapter 'Strategy, tactics and space.'
Who’s Who 2011
Birthday Honours List — United Kingdom, The London Gazette, Saturday 12 June 2004, http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/57315/supplements/1