Paul Vallely is the author of one of the first biographies of Pope Francis. It was published by Bloomsbury just a few weeks ago. He is policy and communications consultant to various aid and development agencies and religious organisations. He writes on political, cultural, ethical and religious issues in The Independent, the Church Times, Third Way and The Tablet .
He was co-author of the report of the Commission for Africa set up by the British prime minister Tony Blair. Having spent 2004/5 working on secondment to the Commission he then worked with Bob Geldof on Live 8, and with Geldof and Bono lobbying the negotiators and heads of government at the Gleneagles G8 summit.
As Africa correspondent of The Times he covered the Ethiopian famine of 1984/85 for which he was commended as International Reporter of the Year. He then travelled across Africa with Geldof to decide how to spend the money raised by Live Aid. He subsequently co-wrote Geldof’s best-selling autobiography, Is That It? He has reported from 30 countries in the developing world and was nominated for the UN Media Peace Prize.
He was a wide range of journalistic experience having been Executive Editor of the Independent on Sunday, Editor of the Sunday Times News Review, Deputy Editor of The European, and Assistant Editor of the Sunday Correspondent. He has been a leader-writer on The Independent, an oped writer for the Daily Telegraph and The Times correspondent in New York, Belfast and Africa.
He was chair of the leading development think-tank, the Catholic Institute for International Relations (now Progressio). He was also chair of the fair trade organisation Traidcraft. He has worked on special projects with the development agencies Christian Aid and Cafod and has been editorial adviser to the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales.
He has written a number of books including Bad Samaritans: First World Ethics and Third World Debt and Promised Lands, a study of land reform in the Philippines, Brazil and Eritrea. He is the editor of The New Politics: Catholic Social Teaching for the 21st century and A Place of Redemption: a Christian approach to punishment and prison.
In the 2006 Birthday Honours List he was created a Companion of St Michael and St George (CMG) “for services to journalism and to the developing world”.
Africa, Christianity & idealism