HIFF announces 2013 Honorary Chairman, Shaun Woodward

Shaun Woodward was a Senior Cabinet Minister (and formerly Arts and Film Minister) in the last Labour Government under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. His career began in the BBC as a television journalist and producer. For the last fifteen years Shaun has been a Member of the British Parliament He has served on numerous Boards and charities; has been closely involved with the Arts since his time at Cambridge University.

Shaun Woodward concluded the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland for the British Government in 2010. He was the Labour Government’s longest serving Secretary of State in Northern Ireland, leading the negotiations for the British Government to complete the last part of the political and peace process with the devolution of policing and justice powers in 2010.  He remains a serving Member of Parliament.

Shaun began his career in television journalism. He was a producer and documentary film maker for the BBC ( Newsnight and Panorama ) and the Editor of That’s Life! He has taught at London University ( Queen Mary and Westfield College ) and at Harvard ( Institute of Politics. )

M. Woodward was Director of Communications for Prime Minister John Major for the 1992 General Election. Elected as a Conservative MP in 1997, he crossed the floor of the House of Commons in 1999. In 2001 he was re-elected as Labour MP for St Helens South. In Parliament, Shaun has served on the Foreign Affairs, EU Scrutiny and the Human Rights Select Committees.

M. Woodward has been a Trustee of numerous charities including Deputy Chairman of ChildLine, Chairman of Understanding Industry, English National Opera and Chairman of ENO’s Redevelopment Campaign. He recently became a Trustee of the Human Dignity Trust, working to promote equality by the application of international human rights law in those 82 countries of the world that continue to criminalize identity. He also is a Board Member of the Hamptons International Film Festival, where Shaun now succeeds Alec Baldwin as Honorary Chair.

M. Woodward was educated at Bristol Grammar School and Cambridge University, with a First in English Literature. He is the co-author of three books, including a best seller on addiction to tranquillizers.