David Miliband


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(b. London, 15 July 1965)

British; Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 2007–  Miliband's parents were refugees from Europe and his father, Ralph, was a leading Marxist writer. Miliband gained a first-class honours degree in politics, philosophy, and economics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and then a master's degree in political science at MIT. Back in Britain, he worked for the Council for Voluntary Organizations, and then as a research fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research, the think-tank with links to Labour Party ‘modernizers’, from 1989 to 1994. Tony Blair appointed him to his ‘kitchen cabinet’ as Head of Policy in 1994, and he contributed to Labour's manifesto for the 1997 election, following which, Blair appointed him Head of the Prime Minister's Policy Unit. Miliband, however, wished to engage directly in politics, and became the candidate for the safe Labour seat of South Shields, which he won at the 2001 general election. He was appointed Minister of State at the Department for Education and Skills a year later, then Minister of State at the Cabinet Office in 2004. Following the 2005 general election, Miliband entered the cabinet as Minister of Communities and Local Government, moving to Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs in 2006. While in this post, he stressed the significance of climate change. When Gordon Brown became Prime Minister in 2007, he surprised many by appointing Miliband as Foreign Secretary. Although Jewish by birth, Miliband has shown he is even-handed in his dealings with both Israelis and Palestinians, and he has distanced himself from previous apparently unquestioning support for the USA. Miliband has embraced modern technology, and has his own blog. While acknowledged as clever, Miliband is seen as approachable rather than arrogant, and as a possible future candidate for the Labour Party leadership.

Subjects: Politics.

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