Christopher Bowers (OS 1989) has travelled the world as a BBC World Service correspondent, he’s become a champion for human rights and most recently he’s taken on a challenging role as the political adviser for Chevron.
Whilst at SGS he had a busy school life. After cycling the 8.5 miles from his house to the school, Chris got involved with all aspects of the school including theatre and rugby. After successfully being awarded Albert Johnson Travel Award – which helped spur on his enthusiasm for travel – Chris left to study at Edinburgh University.
I have nothing but happy memories from my time at SGS. There is a group of friends who meet up once or twice a year as a group and of course individually.
He said: “When I graduated from university, I spent a year not knowing what I wanted to do. What I did know was that I liked politics, writing and telling a story. I also aspired to travel and live abroad.”
But it was a chance meeting at an SGS reunion that set him on the path to become a successful correspondent for the BBC. After making a business connection at the reunion, Chris started his journalism training and began working at the Manchester Evening News before making the leap to broadcast journalism.
During his time with the BBC, Chris navigated war-torn countries where he reported on historic events including the fall of Kabul to the Mujahideen. Then following the collapse of the Soviet Union, he set up and reported from the first BBC office in Central Asia, in Tashkent from 1992-1993.
His career then took a new path when he was recruited by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). This lead to a harrowing 18 months working in Rwanda after the 1994 genocide, before re-locating to UNHCR’s HQ in Geneva.
From there he went on to join the British Foreign Office with HM Diplomatic Service in 2000.
He explains: “I worked on human rights and did four years at the British Embassy in Moscow running the internal political team and then the commercial service team. Then I made the move back to London where I started working as deputy head of the Middle East Group and then HM Consul General in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan.
“The reason I switched from being a journalist is that although you can report and tell stories, you don’t necessarily affect or influence change.”
I now advise Chevron, a US oil and gas major, on political issues that might affect our business in Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East.