William Morris (Next Century Foundation)

William Morris (Next Century Foundation)

William Morris is Secretary General of the Next Century Foundation

Formerly a journalist and publisher, William Morris is an expert on Arab Affairs with close family connections with the Arab world stretching back more than 30 years. At one time William Morris edited "Voice", a periodical on Arab Affairs. He has worked closely with the governments of many Middle Eastern countries. He is a dual national (USA / UK).

William left publishing in the early eighties to set up a sheep farm in South Wales. Following a subsequent ill-fated adventure in the Mining Industry (Founded Carreg Goch Mining in the Swansea Valley in 1988) William returned to the Middle East.

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. Following his return to Britain in December 1996, William Morris was appointed as the Secretary General of the Next Century Foundation, an organization whose founders included Jon Kimche and Lord Arnold Weinstock, with backing from Andrew Cavendish, 11th Duke of Devonshire and the then Crown Prince (now Amir) 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 an important report on Kashmir in consultation with the Mirpuri community in Britain.

In October 2000 he 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 Iraqi 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).

He was then appointed as chairman of the International Media Council (now part of the International Council for Press and Broadcasting) based in London in May 2003. In this capacity he has led press delegations to Iraq, Palestine, Israel, Egypt and Syria. The goal of the Media Council is to counter xenophobia and disinformation in the press of the Middle East and the West. A number of prominent Israeli journalists have been recipients of its media awards in London including Mr Ari Rath, Mr Danny Rubinstein and Mr Yoav Stern. Arab recipients have included Sami Abdul Shafi and Mr Jihad al Khazen.

Personal life and education

He is the son of Cornish author and publisher Claud Morris. Educated variously at the Bible College of Wales, Grenville College, City of Westminster College, London College of Printing, Royal Agricultural College, Exeter University Department of Lifelong Learning, all in the United Kingdom.

He married Veronica Harding in 1978. William Morris has three children: two sons and one daughter.


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