William Morris (Next Century Foundation)

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William Morris
William Morris (Next Century Foundation).jpg
William Morris in Ninevah Province, Iraq 2006
Nationality Dual (UK/US)
Known for Next Century Foundation
Partner(s) Veronica Harding
Children Two sons and one daughter

William Morris is Secretary General of the Next Century Foundation.

Early life[edit]

He is the son of Cornish author and publisher Claud Morris and Patricia (née′ Holton), an American writer and broadcaster. Educated variously at the Bible College of Wales, Grenville College in Bideford, North Devon, City of Westminster College, London College of Printing, Royal Agricultural College, Exeter University Department of Lifelong Learning, all in the United Kingdom.

Formerly a journalist and publisher, William Morris is an expert on Arab Affairs with close family connections with the Arab world. At one time William Morris edited "Voice", a periodical on Arab Affairs. He is a dual national (UK/US).

William started his career as a publisher in the late sixties founding a number of publications including the now defunct London Law Quarterly. William left publishing in the early eighties to set up a sheep farm in South Wales and became a volunteer Prison Visitor at Swansea Prison (eventually becoming local National Association of Official Prison Visitors secretary). He was then elected as a County Councillor for West Glamorgan County Council and served on the Public Protection and Industrial Development Committees, as well as variously being appointed a primary school, secondary school and university governor. Following an ill fated venture in the Mining Industry (Founded Carreg Goch Mining in the Swansea Valley in 1988) William moved to the Middle East in 1991.

William Morris then worked as the Special Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister of the Sultanate of Oman, in which capacity he lived and worked in the Sultanate where he was based at Sultan Qaboos University for six years from 1991 to 1996. In this role he advised the Deputy Premier on a range of issues, particularly with regard to launching a series of academic journals at Oman’s newly established university. He also established the Sultan Qaboos University Press.

Next Century Foundation[edit]

William returned with his family to Cornwall in 1996 and soon after he was appointed as the Secretary General of the Next Century Foundation, an organization whose founders included the journalists Claud Morris (William’s father) and Jon Kimche and Lord Arnold Weinstock, with backing from Andrew Cavendish, 11th Duke of Devonshire and the then Crown Prince of Qatar.

He then worked closely with the incoming Labour Government in Britain. At the behest of Derek Fatchett MP (then Minister at the Foreign Office) he produced a report on Kashmir in consultation with the Mirpuri community in Britain. In October 2000 William Morris helped set up a war avoidance team to carry messages back and forth between the then Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr Peter Hain, and Iraq Deputy Prime Minister Mr Tariq Aziz (a matter then confidential which has since been put on public record in an interview with Mr Hain by the Today program and in responses to questions from news reporters).[1]

He subsequently shifted the emphasis of work at the NCF which had been (and indeed still remains) a confidential dialogue group, to that of a campaign group working behind the scenes to implement strategies for peace and foster freedom from fear, talking to all possible parties in order to do so. In which context he initiated the NCF’s work in liaison between governments in arenas such as Gaza and Israel. The NCF describes itself as a “think-and-do tank”.

He has led four electoral monitoring delegations to Iraq (the NCF is the only accredited international election- monitoring organisation traveling extensively in the interior of the country, operating in both the Green and Red zones).[2]

In more recent years he established the Iran unit of the NCF which produced regular reports on developments in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In April 2011 he worked closely with the Libyan opposition to facilitate the relief of Misrata.

In June 2012 he established the Syria unit of the NCF, which produced regular reports on developments in the Syrian war, and continues to lobby the international community to promote a peace that leads to substantive post-war reform. The Syria unit also recorded casualty figures in the conflict from June 2012, reporting these figures monthly, but this work has now been discontinued.[3] The Syria focus of the NCF has however, if anything, increased with the emergence of ISIS on the international scene, and William frequently addresses focus groups on the subject.[4] William Morris resumed his personal travels to and direct engagement with Syria in late 2016.

William Morris was a speaker at The Policy Studies Organization's Middle East Dialogue 2012 "The Middle East Today: The Arab Spring, The Syrian Summer".[5] He spoke again on the Syrian issue in the 2015 Washington conference of the Policy Studies Organization.[6] In June 2016 he coordinated a four-day conference partnered with Initiatives of Change, titled "The Middle East Migration Crisis - Genesis and Responses".[7]

In 2016 he and his team established the Facebook based Khawatir movement in an attempt to offer a response to all forms of violent extremism.[8]

International Media Council[edit]

In 2003 he was appointed as chairman of the International Council for Press and Broadcasting based in London(now amalgamated with the International Communications Forum).[9] In this capacity he has led press delegations to Iraq, Palestine, Israel, Egypt and Syria. The professed goal of the Media Council is to counter xenophobia and disinformation in the press of the Middle East and the West. The International Media Council holds an annual International Media Awards in London. A number of prominent Israeli journalists have been recipients of its media awards in London including Ari Rath, Danny Rubinstein and Yoav Stern. Arab recipients have included Sami Abdul Shafi and Jihad al Khazen.[10]

Police and Crime Commissioner Election[edit]

William Morris ran as an independent candidate in the England and Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Elections 2012 for Devon and Cornwall Police but lost to the Conservative candidate, Commander Tony Hogg.[11][12] He also declared himself a candidate in 2016, however lost again to the Conservative candidate Alison Hernandez.[13]

Voluntary[edit]

William Morris is a trustee of Sanghata Global,[14] a non-profit organisation for transformational change that designs and implements breakthrough conceptual models focused on serving humanity. It is a charitable company incorporated in the United Kingdom. He is also an active member of Initiatives of Change, a Swiss based peace charity that emerged from the closure of the controversial Moral Re-Armament movement;[15] as well as serving on the Board of the Aramea Foundation which works for peace in the Levant. In recognition of an "Outstanding Contribution to Foreign Policy, International Dialogue and Peace", William Morris was awarded an honorary LL.D. (doctorate of laws honoris causa) by the Earl of St Andrews on the occasion of the Earl's installation as Chancellor at the University of Bolton in March 2017.[16]

Personal life[edit]

He married Veronica Harding in 1978. William Morris has three children and two granddaughters. His personal religious beliefs are eclectic. He has been ordained both as an elder in the United Reformed Church and a lay reader in the Anglican church in Cornwall.

Broadcasting[edit]

Since 2014 William has been broadcasting for an hour a week to the Middle East on Arab News Network (ANN Satellite TV). The broadcasts go out on Thursdays at 15:00 GMT (18:00 KSA) repeated at 20:00 GMT Fridays, Sundays and Mondays. The program is titled: The English Hour. Interviewees include: Sir Robert Worcester of Mori,[17] Iraqi poet Nabeel Yasin,[18] former US ambassador to Lebanon, Hon Mark Gregory Hambley,[19] Rabbi Herschel Gluck,[20] Rev Nadim Nassar of the Awareness Foundation,[21] and Princess Basmah bint Saud.[22]

Works[edit]

  • The Qwerty Gloop, London, privately printed nonsense verse, 2014
  • Springfield the Novel, Washington, Westphalia Press, 2016[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.politics.co.uk/reference/peter-gerald-hain
  2. ^ NCF Election Monitoring in Iraq on YouTube
  3. ^ Syria Working Group NCF
  4. ^ World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts Discussion, February 25, 2014 on YouTube
  5. ^ Video on YouTube
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "The Middle East Migration Crisis - Genesis and Responses". Eventbrite. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  8. ^ Al Khawatir
  9. ^ Video on YouTube
  10. ^ International Media Awards
  11. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-19521181
  12. ^ Tony Hogg elected Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall
  13. ^ http://www.williammorris.org/
  14. ^ Sanghata Global
  15. ^ http://angwinack.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/where-i-stand.html
  16. ^ http://www.bolton.ac.uk/Installation/Home.aspx
  17. ^ Sir Robert Worcester
  18. ^ Nabeel Yasin
  19. ^ Mark Hambley
  20. ^ Rabbi Herschel Gluck
  21. ^ Rev Nadim Nassar
  22. ^ Princess Basmah Bint Saud
  23. ^ [2]

See also[edit]