• Driven across the Sahara desert, from UK to Ghana via Morocco, Algeria, Niger and Burkina Faso (1990)

  • Travelled on the trans-Siberian train from Beijing to Moscow (1987)

  • Got a grade A GCSE in Mandarin Chinese at Polytechnic of Central London (1989)

  • Seconded as Change Manager for Amnesty International’s restructuring (1995-96)

  • Project managed global human rights campaigns on Afghanistan, Former Yugoslavia and Turkey for Amnesty International (1991-2000)

  • Obtained OWA’s largest ever major gift of £100,000 (2001)

  • Led conception and acceptance of Amnesty International’s worldwide information strategy (1993)

  • Led OWA as Chief Executive (2001-10)

  • Worked for Asian Research Centre for Migration at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, on HIVAIDS/border transfers to Burma (1998) and position of Burmese refugees in Thailand (2011)

  • Survived brain tumour, and recovered from operation to become independent international development consultant (2010-present)

  • Chair of Walthamstow School for Girls (2005-9)

  • Carried out disciplinary investigation as Board member of Citizen’s Advice Bureau in Walthamstow

  • Slept overnight on park bench in Paris (1978)

  • Worked in bread factory, including night shifts (1979)

  • Hitchhiked around Europe, including France, Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium (1978)

  • Worked as research assistant in Norwegian University (1982)

  • Appointed Deputy Site Librarian at Aberconway Library, UWIST/University of Wales (1983-85)

  • Lived and worked as a VSO volunteer in the Philippines (1985-87)

  • Lived with squatter family in urban poor area in Manila (1985-87)

  • Worked with Filipino trade union and workers organisation CARLS (1985-87)

  • Worked for Filipino social magazine Balai (1985)

  • Appointed Information Office at VSO, including setting up resources centre (1988-1989)

  • Appointed as Director of Information at Amnesty International (1991-98)

  • Appointed as Director of Asia-Pacific at Amnesty International, including managing Hong Kong office during transition to Chinese rule (1999-2000)

  • Gained the confidence, as a man, of women’s organisations in Kenya and Tanzania, enabling me to work with them on sensitive issues of sexual violence against women and girls (2016-18)

  • Written wide range of evaluation and research reports as a consultant, include topic in Asia and Africa (2011-2019)

  • Came under automatic rifle fire during coup attempt by Filipino military, and guided a fellow VSO to safety (1987)

  • Written accessible, easy to use manuals in international development, including on MEL and on being good UK-based partner (2015-2018)

  • Travelled to more than 50 countries in 5 continents (1959-2018)

  • Appointed as Interim Field Director for VSO in Sierra Leone after incumbent was medevacked out (1990)

  • Slept on the floor of a longhouse in the jungle of Sarawak, Malaysia (1997)

  • Rode a motorbike accidentally across the border from Thailand to Burma/Myanmar (1998)

  • Rented a bedsit in a block in Bangkok with only Thai residents, where I lived very happily while I was working at Chulalongkorn University (1998)

  • Awarded a DFID Programme Partnership Agreement for One World Action worth £5million, for which I designed and led the process and wrote the application (2005)

  • Gave keynote speech at annual conference of Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) (2006)

  • Elected to the Board of BOND, British NGOs for Development, the leading network of UK NGOs including Action Aid, Christian Aid and Oxfam (2002)

  • Confronted a Communist “sparrow squad” at a party in the Philippines who had summarily executed a traffic cop (1987)

  • Gave a short presentation to my two warring, oppositional assistants in VSO about what it means to be a volunteer, bringing some peace for a while between them (1989)

  • Separated two staff members at AI who were fist-fighting, and dealt thoroughly and privately with their issues (1995)

  • As one of only two white invitees, gave one of the three memorial speeches at the funeral of Harvey, a West Indian who worked for AI (1994)

  • Designated one room as a prayer room for a Somali volunteer at OWA who needed to pray five times a day (2008)

  • Organised OWA staff to share the breaking of the Eid fast with a Muslim women who worked for us (2007)

  • Answered frankly and kindly to the Thai wife of the DSG at AI, when she phoned to ask if it was true that my PA was having an affair with her husband (1996)

  • Made an open house of the VSO residence in Sierra Leone as part of fostering a new togetherness amongst a divided volunteer group (2000)

  • Directly raised an issue of racism and its handling in a Governing Body meeting at Walthamstow School for Girls when others were afraid to do so; which directly led to my election as Chair, with overwhelming support from BME committee members (2005)

  • Decided to go ahead on a road in Angola which had, the day before, been subject to a mine explosion, because I knew what it meant to our OWA Africa Programme Manager to visit the house of ex-rebel leader Joseph Savimbi (2004)

  • Took the wife of the Deputy Head of the Asian Development Bank to visit Smokey Mountain in Tondo, an infamous dump site and slum; she had never experienced that side of Manila in her three years there (1986)