Duncan Morrow is Director of Community Engagement at the University of Ulster, responsible for developing the University’s partnerships with groups and organisations across the community. He is also a lecturer in Politics.
His professional life began as a research officer in the Centre for the Study of Conflict looking into the role of churches and religion in conflict in Northern Ireland. Together with Derick Wilson and Frank Wright, he established the Understanding Conflict Trust, which was initially designed to lead and facilitate difficult dialogue and conversation around issues of history, politics and conflict and to identify practical steps to promote change. Much of that work was with community development organisations, in youth work and with reconciliation groups. After 1996 this developed into the Future Ways Project within the University of Ulster. Early research led to the development of the concept of Equity, Diversity and Interdependence as a vehicle to analyse interventions to promote reconciliation and change in a systematic manner. As a result, Future Ways began to develop pilot interventions with large scale organisations such as the police, district councils and the youth service.
In 1998, Duncan Morrow was appointed as sentence review commissioner responsible for implementing the arrangements for the early release of prisoners following the Good Friday Agreement. This has since expanded into work as a Parole Commissioner.
In 2002, he was appointed as Chief Executive of the Community Relations Council where he championed the concept of a shared future and developed the Council’s role in research and active learning, in policy development and work on key issues such as interfaces, parading and regeneration and in work with victims and survivors of conflict. Over 9 years the Council became the leading funding agency for inter-community work taking a lead role in both the IFI Community Bridges Programme and the EU PEACE fund. Since his return to the University in 2011, he has also been appointed as Chairman of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Tackling Sectarianism, Scottish Government, 2012-13.
He holds a B.A. Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Oxford (1982); a Ph.D in ‘Neutrality as Foreign Policy in Austria since 1955’, University of Edinburgh (1987); and a PGCUT, University of Ulster (1993).
In his real life, he is married with three alarmingly growing children/young adults. He is regularly seen taking his life in his hands by cycling across Belfast.
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