Michael Williams, Baron Williams of Baglan

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Williams of Baglan
Personal details
Born (1949-06-11) 11 June 1949 (age 67)
Political party Labour
Alma mater University College London
SOAS, University of London

Michael Charles Williams, Baron Williams of Baglan (born 11 June 1949) is a diplomat and crossbench life peer.


Williams received his BSc from University College London in 1971 and a MSc degree in the Politics of Developing Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, SOAS in 1973. He subsequently earned a Doctorate in Politics, also from SOAS.[1] He then lectured in politics at the University of East Anglia from 1978 to 1980.


Lord Williams is the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon. He was appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in August 2008.[2] Williams previously served as UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Situation in the Middle East, before his appointment as the UK Special Representative for the Middle East and Special Projects. Prior to that, he was the Director for the Asia and the Pacific Division in the Department of Political Affairs. From 1999 to 2005, Williams was the Special Adviser to two UK Foreign Secretaries, Robin Cook (1999–2001) and Jack Straw (2001–2005).[1]

He held a number of senior positions with the UN in the 1990s, including Director of Human Rights in the UN Transitional Administration in Cambodia (UNTAC) and Director of Information in the UN Protection Force in Former Yugoslavia (UNPROFOR). His previous experience ranges from working for the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the BBC World Service and Amnesty International. He is a member of the Executive Committee and Council of Chatham House (Royal Institute for International Affairs). [3] He has written widely on Asian politics, international security and peacekeeping. He has been a Trustee of the BBC Trust since 2011. [4] He has served as Chair of the Trustee Board of the British humanitarian demining charity MAG (Mines Advisory Group) since 2013.[5]

Williams was made a life peer in the 2010 Dissolution Honours list. He was created Baron Williams of Baglan, of Neath Port Talbot in Glamorgan on 23 July 2010[6] and, on being introduced into the House of Lords, took his seat on the Labour benches. He was granted leave of absence from the House on 26 October 2010,[7] and now sits as a crossbencher.


Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Álvaro de Soto
UN Sec. Gen. Special Representative to the Middle East
Succeeded by
Robert Serry