Professor, the Lord Alderdice FRCPsych is a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords and was the Chairman of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords during the Liberal/Conservative Coalition Government. He is now serving as one of the Deputies to the Lord Speaker of the House.
Previously a consultant psychiatrist at the Centre for Psychotherapy he established in Belfast, Lord Alderdice is currently a Clinical Professor in Psychiatry at the University of Maryland (Baltimore), a Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict at Harris Manchester College (University of Oxford) and Chairman Emeritus of the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building (Belfast).
As Leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland he played a significant role in negotiating the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, and when the Northern Ireland Assembly was elected he became the first Speaker of the new Assembly. In 2004 he retired as Speaker on being appointed by the British and Irish Governments to be one of the four members of the international Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC), put in place to close down the paramilitary organizations and monitor security normalization. He served throughout the seven and a half years of the IMC.
He has long been active in international liberal politics and was a Vice-President of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party and then President of Liberal International (the global federation of more than 100 liberal political parties). He is now Presidente d’Honneur of Liberal International.
Lord Alderdice has spent a life-time working on understanding and addressing religious fundamentalism, radicalization, terrorism and violent political conflict in various parts of the world. More recently he has also been working on the problems of indigenous peoples and their conflicts with the incomers. He consults, lectures and writes on these issues, and has been recognized with many honorary degrees and international prizes, including the International Psychoanalytic Association Award for Extraordinarily Meritorious Service to Psychoanalysis, the World Federation of Scientists Prize for the application of Science to the Cause of Peace and Liberal International’s Prize for Freedom.