David Miliband

On this date in 1965, David Wright Miliband was born in London. Ralph Miliband, his father, was a great Marxist scholar from Belgium and his mother was a feminist and human rights activist from Poland. Miliband’s parents were Jewish and settled in England after escaping the Holocaust. Miliband’s younger brother, Edward Miliband, is the Leader of the British Labour Party. Miliband graduated with first class honors from Corpus Christi College at Oxford University with a degree in philosophy, politics and economics. As a Kennedy Scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he earned a Master’s degree in political science in 1989. Miliband then worked at a British think tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research, as a research fellow and policy analyst until 1994. Miliband was appointed as Tony Blair’s Head of Policy in 1994, and three years later Blair appointed him the de facto Head of the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit, a post he held until the 2001 election. Miliband was elected to Parliament for South Shields in 2001. Miliband served as Schools Minister in 2002, Cabinet Office Minister in 2004, Minister of State for Communities and Local Government in 2005, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in 2006. New Prime Minister Gordon Brown appointed Miliband Foreign Secretary in 2007. David Miliband gained the most nominations for his bid in 2010 for Labour Party Leader, a race that included his younger brother Ed Miliband, to whom he ultimately lost by a narrow margin. Since his unsuccessful campaign, Miliband has continued serving as a Member of Parliament for South Shields and became a senior global advisor for Oxford Analytica. Miliband is married to American-born violinist Louise Shackelton, with whom he has adopted two sons.

Photo under Open Government License

“My parents and grandparents — all of them Jews — went through huge trauma. They went through the trauma of the Holocaust. I don't know if it's for that reason that, by 1965, when I was born, my grandparents, who were alive, my parents were secular. But I've grown up in a secular way. I've thought about this, and I'm an atheist.”

—David Miliband in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on July 5, 2009

Compiled by Bonnie Gutsch

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