The Super Department? The Future for the FCDO


Tuesday 4th August 5.30pm


The Super Department? The Future for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

The UK has a proud history as a world leader in international aid – it is the only country to meet the target to spend 0.7% of GNI on overseas development. The Government has recently announced it will merge the Foreign & Commonwealth and International Development Departments in the Autumn this year. How will integration work? What is the future for UK Aid within the combined department? We will look ahead to the publication of the Integrated Review of foreign policy, defence, security and international development, and examine what priorities and objectives are likely to be. We will ask, as Britain prepares to hold the G7 Presidency, and host COP26 next year, how will this merger affect the UK’s influence and impact on the world stage? And finally, what lessons can be drawn from other countries, who have also merged development and foreign affairs departments?


Laura Round (Chair)

Former Special Adviser
Ministry of Defence, the Department for International Development and the Cabinet Office


Government Relations Manager
World Vision UK


Former Minister of State at the Department for International Development
UK Government


Chair, House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety & National Defence and Chair, Canadian Section of the Canada-United States Permanent Joint Board on Defence 
Government of Canada


Conflict and Fragility Lead
World Vision Australia

About Laura Round

Laura Round is Associate Director at freuds where she works on purpose campaigns and the SDGs. Laura was Special Adviser in the Ministry of Defence, the Department for International Development and the Cabinet Office where she advised the Secretary of State on the Department’s policy and communications strategies. In government, she helped put the environment and climate change at the heart of the aid budget. She was also a strong advocate of the role that the private sector can play in sustainable development, including through ESG and purpose-led strategies. Laura sits on the Advisory Council of the Coalition for Global Prosperity.

About Amy Johnson

Amy has been with World Vision UK since 2017, currently working as the Government Relations Manager, with previous deployments to Jordan, Bangladesh and Uganda. Prior to World Vision she worked in the Rt Hon Fiona Mactaggart MP’s Westminster office, and in earthquake relief in Nepal. Alongside her work she is completing an MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies at the LSE. When she gets a free moment you can find her curled up with a novel and a strong coffee.

About Harriett Baldwin MP

Harriett was elected as the Member of Parliament for West Worcestershire in May 2010, where she has lived since 2006. Between 2010 and 2015 she has served on the Work and Pensions Select Committee, Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister for Employment in the Department of Work and Pensions and represented the UK on the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

Between 2018 and 2019 Harriett served as Minister for Africa, having been appointed Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development.

In 2014 Harriett was appointed to become the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Russia before joining the Government as Assistant Government Whip and then promoted within the Whips Office to the role of Lord Commissioner to HM Treasury. Following her re-election in 2015, Harriett became Economic Secretary to the Treasury (City Minister) and moved to become Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Ministry of Defence responsible for Defence Procurement in July 2016.

About John McKay MP

The Honourable John McKay was first elected as Member of Parliament in Canada in 1997. He was re-elected in October 2019 to serve his eighth term in the House of Commons. He currently represents the constituency of Scarborough-Guildwood. John has always lived in Scarborough. He attended the University of Toronto at Scarborough (UTSC), where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree. After graduating he attended Queen’s University where he obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree. After successfully completing the Osgoode Hall Bar Admission course, he went into the private practice of law. John is married to Carolyn Dartnell, they have five children and are active members of The Peoples Church.  

About Nadine Haddad

Nadine is a leading voice in the humanitarian and Development sector with over 15 years of professional experience in progressively senior positions. Nadine has a strong technical expertise in child protection, mental health and education in emergencies and is passionate about ensuring children’s voices are brought to the fore by engaging in advocacy, media and communications work both in Australia and at an international level, focusing on highlighting key issues and challenges affecting children in the most challenging and forgotten parts of the world. 

Nadine responded and led many of the large emergencies around the world, including Iraq, Jordan, Typhoon Haiyan Philippines, Cyclone Pam Vanuatu and has worked in some of the most challenging parts of the world including, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and Lebanon.