In the last thirty years, John Alderdice has been involved in almost every aspect of the Irish Peace Process. As Leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland from October 1987, he played a significant role in the talks between the political parties and the British and Irish Governments on the resolution of the historic conflict in Ireland right through to the negotiation of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. He then retired as Alliance Leader and became the first Speaker of the new Northern Ireland Assembly, leading the establishment of the new legislature. He retired as Speaker in 2004 on his appointment to the Independent Monitoring Commission, tasked by the British and Irish Governments with closing down terrorist operations and overseeing normalization of security activity in Northern Ireland. Later the First, Deputy First, and Justice Ministers of Northern Ireland invited him to work with two colleagues to develop a new strategy to bring an end to the remaining paramilitary organizations in Northern Ireland. He also established  and for some years chaired the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building in Belfast which works on the cultural and attitudinal changes that will complete the Irish Peace Process and gives support to colleagues working in other conflict regions.  He continues to be Emeritus Chairman of CDPB and works on the Irish Peace Process both publicly and privately from the House of Lords at Westminster and through his leadership of The Concord Foundation.

    Lord Alderdice has also been committed to liberal politics outside Northern Ireland. From 1995 to 2003 he was Treasurer and then Vice-President of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party. From 2000 until 2009 he was Deputy President and then President of Liberal International (the world-wide network of more than 100 liberal political parties) and now as a life-time Presidente D’Honneur of Liberal International he continues to be an active member of the Bureau of LI.

    In 1996 his contribution to liberal politics at home and abroad was recognized when he was appointed one of the youngest ever life members of the House of Lords, the Upper Chamber of the Westminster Parliament. From 2010 to 2014 he was the elected the Chairman (Convenor) of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party in the House of Lords. In August 2010 Prime Minister David Cameron appointed him to the UK Committee on Standards in Public Life, reappointing him for a further term in 2013. After the 2015 Westminster Election, the Liberal Democrat Leader, Tim Farron MP appointed him Liberal Democrat Party Spokesman on Northern Ireland, but he retired from that role in late 2016 in order to carry out an Independent Review on Culture, Race and Ethnicity within the Liberal Democrats. This was completed and submitted in early 2018 and the ‘Alderdice Report’, as it has become known, has been welcomed at all levels in the Party, officially adopted, and is being implemented.  From 2020 to 2021 he was a member of the COVID-19 Committee of the House and from January 2024 a member of the Select Committee of the House on International Relations and Defence.

    Lord Alderdice’s professional background is as a clinical and academic physician and psychiatrist (see Medical and Psychiatric Career). He was a consultant psychiatrist in psychotherapy in Belfast and senior lecturer in psychotherapy at The Queen’s University of Belfast (UK) from 1998 to 2010. He was also a Visiting Professor, at the Department of Psychiatry and Co-Chairman of the Critical Incidents Analysis Group, at the University of Virginia (USA), and for some years a Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry of the School of Medicine at the University of Maryland in Baltimore (USA).

    Lord Alderdice’s main focus now is as Executive Chairman of the Changing Character of Centre (CCW) Pembroke College, University of Oxford, where he is also an Honorary Fellow, and as a Senior Research Fellow at Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford where he concentrates, with colleagues in the Department of Politics and International Relations and the School of Anthropology, on analysing, understanding and engaging with the problems of religious fundamentalism, political radicalization and violent community conflict, including the intractable difficulties between first nation populations and incoming people.

    Lord Alderdice is also President and Director of ARTIS (Europe) Ltd, a registered UK company that he set up in 2009 to work on Research, Teaching and Intervention Support in a range of major psychosocial challenges worldwide, and is Chairman of The Concord Foundation (CLG), a registered company in Ireland whose purpose is to address in a non-partisan way the religious, psychological and political aspects of communal conflict.


    Lord Alderdice’s academic and peace work has been recognized with many national and international awards including Honorary Citizen of the City of Baltimore (1991), Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (1997), W A Harriman Award for Democracy (Washington 1998), John F Kennedy Profiles in Courage Award (1998), Silver Medal of the Congress of Peru (1999), Medal of Honour of the College of Medicine of Peru (1999), Hon Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of San Marcos, Lima, Peru (1999), Hon Member of the Peruvian Psychiatric Society (2000), Hon Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (2001), Hon Affiliate of the British Psychoanalytic Society (2001), Knight Commander of the Order of Francis I (KCFO, 2002), and the International Psychoanalytic Association Award for Extraordinarily Meritorious Service to Psychoanalysis (2005). In December 2006 at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in the Vatican in Rome, he was presented with the prestigious Ettore Majorana Erice Prize of the World Federation of Scientists, for his application of the science of psychoanalysis to the cause of peace.   He was awarded an Hon Doctorate of Letters (DLitt) from the University of East London (2008), Hon Doctorate of Law (LLD) from the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland (2009), Hon Doctorate of the University (D Univ) from The Open University (UK) (2014), Liberal International’s 2015 Prize for Freedom and Presidente D’Honneur of Liberal International (2015), Global Thinkers Forum Award for Excellence in Promoting Peace and Collaboration (2016); Whitney Holland Rose Memorial Award for commitment to Cultural Diversity, at the University of Maryland/Sheppard Pratt Psychiatry Training Program (2017), Hon Doctorate of Laws (LLD) from Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario, Canada (2017), Hon Doctorate of Humanities (D Hum) from the American University, Bogota, Colombia (2018), Hon Doctorate of Literature (D Litt) from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (2018), Hon Doctorate of the University (D Univ) from Üsküdar University, Turkey (2019), International Leadership Association Distinguished Leadership Award (2021), and the Lifetime Achievement of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (2022).