Henry and Cari.JPG

Henry Thompson

special projects

Henry’s career in development has been very predominantly in the drier regions of Africa and the middle East, where he’s worked in the many interfaces between the private sector, civil society, government and the environment.

Henry was raised on a farm not far from London.  It was rural enough that no one locked their doors, and he could get off a tractor at six in the evening and make it down to the Albert Hall in time for a prom.  After leaving school as soon as possible, Henry took to travelling around the world and working wherever he could – from Fiji to Oman.  After some experience working with refugees in Thailand and the UK, he entered university to qualify in development economics and tropical agriculture.  After five years in higher education he went to work in Nigeria for four years for the IUCN.  West Africa was turbulent through the political upheavals of the early nineties, and he learned far more about the way things work in his first six months in Nigeria than he ever could have learned at university.

This experience was followed by project management posts and research contracts in Namibia and other SADC countries for the British and Japanese bilateral agencies.  After spending well over a decade in mainstream development work, Henry opted to work for a major oil company in Angola in their community relations team.  

From the age of forty-two onwards, Henry worked as a self-employed consultant focusing on Yemen.  He’s been advising a range of clients on engagement in Yemen – a country he holds a strong affinity for, despite its many problems.  Over sixteen years Henry has gradually built up a close team of colleagues, friends and clients – the fabric and quality of this network is his professional ‘family’.  

Henry has lived in Oxford since 2004.  He counts himself lucky to have time to spend with close family, and time to ride his bicycle.