Stephen Douglas




United States


Public Administration


Jan 2016 - Sep 2017

Twelve years’ professional experience, including: eight years leading multi-disciplinary, cross-cultural teams in conflict affected regions of Europe; four years as a diplomat in an international organisation; and six+ years in four political parties in three jurisdictions, spending one+ year as interim CEO of Northern Ireland’s then governing anti-sectarian party. A US citizen, born in Ireland, Stephen has degrees in history and political science from Trinity College Dublin, and in law from Cambridge University.

Sort by date


Posted by: on October 17, 2016

How to Discount Accurately the Value of Business Education

Valuing today a future cash flow is the essence of Corporate Finance. There’s a risk that a cash flow promised today for delivery in the future may not be delivered. So it’s sensible to pay less today for that promise of future performance. In Corporate Finance during Module Eight of my Executive MBA at Oxford […]

Read more

Posted by: on September 9, 2016

Autumnal X-ray Accounting and Libraries’ Sofas

Learning accounting at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School was surprisingly interesting. I remember reading, as an undergraduate, about how double entry bookkeeping’s invention was a condition for the industrial revolution. I’m glad now to understand more of what double entry bookkeeping actually is. I’ve managed the finances of an organisation. But then I just copied […]

Read more

Posted by: on August 4, 2016

Part 2: Why Segregating the Sexes at Heathrow Makes no Strategic Sense

As I was flying back to my job as a diplomat in a conflict zone, I found myself at Heathrow musing on what I had just been learning about during the sixth module of my Executive MBA at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School. A dominating KSF (Key Success Factor) of an airport must be the […]

Read more

Posted by: on August 2, 2016

Part 1: Aligning Operations and Marketing with Strategic Intent

Hopefully, I’m wrong when I detect that my Oxford Saïd EMBA programme is speeding up. Usually we have two courses per module. Last week we had three: Marketing; Operations and Technology; and Behavioural Strategy. “Alignment” was one of many common themes running through these courses. Privileging alignment as a unit of organisational focus is, of […]

Read more

Posted by: on June 20, 2016

Strategy as the art of creating superior performance

I’ve been a part of various strategy development processes in different jobs over the years. For example: as interim CEO of a political party before and after successful election campaigns and as senior project adviser in an intergovernmental organisation, where we used the Logical Framework Approach for project planning, monitoring and evaluation. The first time […]

Read more

Posted by: on May 17, 2016

The Business of Creating Profit and Social Capital

“I have to fight every day to embed social capital in my life” thus spoke one senior executive of a global business at Oxford Saïd’s inaugural Responsible Business Forum on Saturday. This last week saw the publication of the Oxford Executive MBA class profiles’ book. An impressive proportion of my class of 74 people from […]

Read more

Posted by: on April 18, 2016

Module 3: India

The most special moment for me during Oxford University’s EMBA class trip to India was when I and a number of our class were being introduced to a group of school children. The children were studying in a school adjacent to a company we were visiting. Instead of simply hanging back while the children were […]

Read more

Posted by: on March 1, 2016

I never thought I’d…

One delightful thought occurred to me again and again during the second module of the Oxford executive MBA. It always began with: “I never thought I’d…”. And sometimes ended with “again”. While visiting my Oxford college: “I never thought I’d have a chance to study at Oxbridge again.” While running alongside Christ Church meadow and […]

Read more

Posted by: on January 29, 2016

Reflecting on Module One

Now that the first module is over, as I travel back to work far from Oxford, in common with most of my seventy-four EMBA classmates working in thirty-eight countries, I am considering carefully all that I have learned during the past eight days. There are so many great aspects to the Oxford EMBA programme which […]

Read more

Posted by: on January 22, 2016

Arriving in Oxford

I arrived at Heathrow to begin the first Module of Oxford University’s Executive MBA course with my cat. I work as a diplomat within an international organisation. For the past year, I have been working in a conflict zone. Last July a soldier at a checkpoint suddenly and irrevocably handed me a tiny kitten that […]

Read more
1 2