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David Bryer graduated from Oxford University with an MA in Middle Eastern Studies and a DPhil on the Druze. He also has a PGCE from Manchester University. After a period of teaching and research in Oxford and Lebanon, he joined Oxfam in 1975 and was involved in a number of different capacities with Oxfam in the years since then.
As a staff member he first worked as field director for the Middle East, working in Lebanon during the early years of the civil war, in Israel/Palestine, Egypt and Yemen. He later coordinated the work in Africa.
In 1984 he became Overseas Director and from 1992 until 2001 was Director of Oxfam. After that he worked in Geneva at the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue which is involved with peace making and the creation of humanitarian space in conflict.
David's period at the helm of Oxfam GB included the implementation of two major management and governance reviews (Compass 1991-3, Fundamental Review 1998). He also oversaw the regionalisation of Oxfam GB's programme and the development of Oxfam International after 1994.
In 2003 he rejoined Oxfam as a Board member of Oxfam America and Chair of Oxfam International.
David has been a member or chair of many groups involved in development and humanitarian issues, including the UN Secretary General's High Level Panel on Financing for Development in 2001 and DFID's Review of Humanitarian Emergency Response in 2010/11. He has been a trustee of Save the Children UK and a member of the Council of VSO. Currently he is a Trustee of WWF.
In 1994, an estimated 800,000 people were massacred in Rwanda in the space of a hundred days. David Bryer was Oxfam director at the time, here he remembers what he describes as the lowest point in...
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