Since his appointment in 1996 as a life member of the House of Lords – the Upper Chamber of the British Parliament – John Alderdice has been an active member of the Liberal Democrat Caucus, which he chaired during the Conservative-Liberal Coalition Government. He is currently a member of the Select Committee of the House on International Relations and Defence.
From 1987 to 1998, Lord Alderdice was Leader of Northern Ireland’s Alliance Party and one of the negotiators of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. He was then the first Speaker of the new Northern Ireland Assembly until 2004 when he was appointed one of four international commissioners charged with overseeing security normalization in Ireland. From 2005 to 2009 he was President of Liberal International, the global family of over 100 Liberal political parties and is now a Presidente D’Honneur. He has retired from clinical psychiatry but continues as a Senior Research Fellow at Harris Manchester College, Oxford, and Professor of Practice at the University of Wales Trinity St David.
He lectures, writes, and consults on the psychology of fundamentalism and intractable political violence and has a long-standing interest in the well-being of indigenous peoples. He has been recognized with many national and international prizes and honorary degrees for his academic and practical contributions in these fields including most recently the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Lord Alderdice is the Founding Chairman of The Concord Foundation.