UK Special Envoy to the Sahel

The Rt Hon Stephen O’Brien MP


Stephen O’Brien was appointed to be the Special Representative for the Sahel at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office on 26 September 2012. Stephen served as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development from May 2010 to September 2012. He is the Conservative MP for Eddisbury.

Stephen was educated at Sedbergh School and Emmanuel College, Cambridge where he studied law. After practising as a solicitor in the City of London for several years, he became the International Director and Company Secretary of Redland PLC.

He was elected as the Member of Parliament for Eddisbury in 1999 and held a number of Shadow front bench positions including Shadow Secretary of State for Industry between 2003 and 2005 and Shadow Minister for Health and Social Care from 2005 to 2010.

Stephen is married with 3 children.

UK Special Envoy to the Sahel

Special representatives use their expertise to develop a greater coherent effort in making sure that the FCO can work closely and effectively with foreign powers. The Sahel is a thin band of sub-Saharan terrain that stretches from Senegal in the west to Sudan in the east. It is beset by numerous political, security and humanitarian challenges best exemplified by the current situation in Mali, which is the UK’s main focus in the Sahel region. The porous borders of the region allow these issues to spread easily from country to country, and the UK, along with international partners, is working to ensure that the current instability in Mali can be contained and resolved before it impacts upon the wider Sahel. In particular, we are supporting the Malian authorities in its efforts to regain full control over Mali’s sovereign territory and return the country to peaceful democratic rule.

Previous roles in government

  1. Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development

    • 2010 to 2012


by The Rt Hon Stephen O’Brien MP

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  1. West Africa: Lifesaving aid for a further 200,000 people

    • 19 June 2012
    • News story
  2. West Africa: Minister sees food aid saving lives in Sahel

    • 19 June 2012
    • News story
  3. Green growth: Business to help beat resource scarcity

    • 11 June 2012
    • News story
  4. Stephen O'Brien: Transparency, Accountability and Good Governance

    • 16 May 2012
    • Speech
  5. South Sudan: UK warns of humanitarian disaster

    • 26 April 2012
    • News story
  6. Stephen O’Brien: Slowing global deforestation

    • 20 April 2012
    • Speech
  7. UK medics to help save lives of more mums and babies

    • 15 March 2012
    • News story
  8. Sudan: Hope for people hit by Darfur conflict

    • 2 March 2012
    • News story
  9. Stephen O'Brien visits Somali community in Bristol

    • 20 February 2012
    • News story
  10. UK and partners unite to combat tropical diseases

    • 30 January 2012
    • News story

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