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What We Do

In an increasingly global, uncertain world, engagement with the Commonwealth is more important than ever - many of its members will define the global foreign policy landscape of the 21st century, and are at the forefront of today's global challenges. While its commercial and cultural networks have never been stronger, substantive Commonwealth policy-making is notable by its absence. All too often, nothing moves without policy. The Centre for Commonwealth Affairs exists to address that gap.

Our mission is to educate the public, private sector, and politicians on the opportunities that the Commonwealth offers, while proactively building links and relationships across its 56 member states. We work cross-party and cross-sector to publish research and opinion pieces, engage our membership with high-profile speakers, and ensure that the Commonwealth has a place in the global policy conversation.

We rely on the support of our members. Please consider joining and donating today, to support the work that we do. Our members receive a weekly update on news from across the Commonwealth, networking opportunities, both physical and digital, and discounted access to our events.


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Meet The Team


Sam Bidwell

Director of the Centre for Commonwealth Affairs

Sam Bidwell is the founder and director of the Centre for
Commonwealth Affairs. Sam has an LLB in Law from the University of Cambridge, specialising in Constitutional and International Affairs. He has extensive experience in political campaigning and research, and is the Centre's research lead. 



Lord Howell of Guildford

Honorary President

Lord Howell of Guildford is a longstanding advocate for the Commonwealth, and a member of the House of Lords. Lord Howell has served in Government under three Prime Ministers, and has a Parliamentary career which spans over fifty years. He has written extensively on a wide range of topics including foreign policy and energy, with 2018's The Mother of All Networks offering a timely retrospective on the role that the Commonwealth can play in the 21st century. 

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Jonathan Heywood

Assistant Director

Jonathan is a founding member and Assistant Director of the Centre for Commonwealth Affairs. He is Secretary of Labour Students, and a committed member of the Labour Party. Jonathan is in his final year at the University of Cambridge, where he specialises in intellectual history.



Oliver Scheidt

Originally from Namibia, Oliver moved to the UK aged 15. Since then, he has been involved with the UK Youth Parliament and has recently become a trustee for KnownValuedLoved, a charity working on education in post-conflict zones. Oliver works as the Parliamentary Assistant to The Lord Popat of Harrow, supporting him in his role as Prime Ministerial Trade Envoy to Uganda, Rwanda, and the DRC.

Communications and Outreach Officer


Imogen Payter

Events Officer

Imogen is Parliamentary Secretary for Mark Garnier MP and a Councillor in Havant. She has served in numerous roles across the public and private sectors, and has worked with MPs in both Westminster and Australia. She now works as the Centre's Events Officer.



David Kabwa

Head of Operations (Southern Africa)

David is a student at the University of Pretoria, completing a PhD in International Relations. He was the first African elected as Prime Minister of the Commonwealth Youth Parliament, and has served for two terms on the National General Council of the South African Union of Students. He is an African Union certified expert in transitional justice and international law.


Thomas Brian

Research Director (Commonwealth History)

Thomas is a founding member of the Centre, and serves as its Research Director on Commonwealth History. He serves as Junior Librarian at the Cambridge Union, and is a choral scholar at Peterhouse, University of Cambridge, where he is in the final year of his BA in History and Politics.

Advisory Board

The Centre's Advisory Board is a collection of eminent political, social, and business figures who advise us on matters of policy, provide support, and inform our strategic direction. All of our advisors are volunteers who support our work due to their belief in the importance of the Commonwealth.


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Dr. Liam Fox
 Secretary of State for International Trade (2016-19)
Secretary of State for Defence (2010-11)



Peter Phillips
Leader of the Opposition, Jamaica (2017-20)
Minister for Finance (2012-16)
Minister for National Security (2002-07)


Ameenah Gurib-Fakim
 President of Mauritius (2015-18)


Rosie Glazebrook
CEO, Commonwealth
Enterprise and Investment Council



Lord Popat of Harrow
Prime Minister's Trade Envoy to
Rwanda and Uganda


Akwasi Opong-Fosu
MP, Amenfi East (2013 -)
Fmr. Minister for Local 
Government, Ghana

Lord Kamall of Edmonton
Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Commonwealth 
Member of European Parliament (2005-2019)



Abdoulie Ceesay MNA
Deputy Majority Leader, Parliament of
The Gambia
MNA for Old Yundum


Professor Sangeeta Khorana
Institute for Exports & International Trade
Bournemouth University


Lord Swire
Dep. Chairman, Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council


Wendy Morton MP
MP for Aldridge-Brownhills (2015 -)
Former Chief Whip



Baroness Prashar
Crossbench Life Peer
Former Chair of the Judicial
Appointments Committee



Dennitah Ghati, HSC
Member of Parliament, Kenya


Douglas Scott Proudfoot
Former Canadian diplomatic 
representative to the UK, India,
and Kenya


Abimbola Okoya
Fmr. President, Nigeria-Britain Association

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