Richard Burge

Chief Executive Officer

Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council

Richard was born in Hong Kong and has spent much of his life outside the UK, having worked in over 50 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. He took up his current role as Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council in April 2017.

Richard is also currently a member of the Council of Durham University, Chair of the Council of Hatfield College, Durham, and a Commissioner to the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission.

From 2009 to 2017, he was a Chief Executive at Wilton Park, an executive agency of the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office which brings together leading representatives from the worlds of politics, diplomacy, academia, business, civil society, the military and the media to provide innovative thinking on global issues.

From 2005 to 2009, he was a Government Commissioner for Rural Communities and a trustee of the Commonwealth’s Iwokrama Rainforest Centre in Guyana. During this time, Richard was Strategy Director for the African Parks Foundation. He also established Beyond Carbon – a strategic science, technology and policy company.

From 2000 to 2005, he was Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance, a rural campaigning organisation with 120,000 members. From 1995 to 1999, Richard was the first Director General of the Zoological Society of London responsible for the management of London Zoo, Whipsnade and Europe’s largest conservation science research centre.

Richard worked for the British Council for ten years, beginning in Nigeria with his last post as Head of Africa and Middle East Development Operations.

He read zoology at the University of Durham and was a Commonwealth Scholar at the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka.