I was born in Zambia and educated in the UK, studying philosophy at the University of Stirling and Kings College, London.
After this I spent five years as a residential social worker in a centre for young offenders in Northampton, UK, and then moved to Nicaragua where I worked as a translator and freelance writer, reporting across Central America for local publications (Barricada, Pensamientio Propio) and international media (Gemini News Service, The Scotsman).
Back in the UK from 1990-92, I contributed regular book reviews to the New Statesman & Society, co-edited an environmental journal, New Ground, and worked as a researcher and policy advisor to the Rt. Hon. Ann Taylor, MP, during her term as Shadow Environment Minister.
This was followed by two years in Malaŵi as a stringer for The Financial Times, also contributing regularly to the BBC World Service radio and numerous international publications including The Economist and Africa Confidential.
In 1994 I moved to Hong Kong and, a year later, to mainland China where I founded China Development Brief (monthly in English, with a quarterly version in Chinese), a newsletter reporting on social development, international aid programmes and the growth of China’s civil society. Over the following 12 years the magazines became a renowned information hub for and provider of consultancy and training services to emerging China NGOs. While managing this operation I published numerous papers and articles on China in other journals and books, and undertook research, evaluation and training consultancies for various international aid agencies.
Since 2008 I have been living in Uganda and, latterly, Rwanda. In Uganda I did some communications consultancy work and established Oil in Uganda, an online and print publication about the social, economic, environmental and political implications of the country’s oil industry. I am finding my feet in Rwanda and waiting for a good idea to arrive, while also doing some consultancy work in the East Africa region.
I have several large children and two small dogs.
My favourite colour is green, or maybe blue, I can’t quite decide which. Some days I like pink.