Mike Hardy is a founding Director of the Centre for Trust, Peace, and Social Relations at Coventry University, formed in 2013 incorporating the Institute of Community Cohesion, The Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies, and the Centre for Trust and Ethical Behaviour. From 1995 until 2011, as a senior U.K. civil servant, Mike was a leader with the British Council responsible for the Council’s global programme for Intercultural Dialogue, youth engagement, and so-called ‘soft-power’ global strategic partnerships.
Following overseas postings in the Arab world and Asia, his work focused on working with difference and with inter- and intra-community relations. His particular interest was with disconnected and underemployed young people. His portfolio included international work with schools and skills, networks of young global citizens, and capacity development within civil societies worldwide as well as supporting partnerships which help conflict and post-conflict contexts and people and communities in fragile states. In his leadership role he was active in policy advocacy in international affairs and public diplomacy, most notably in Muslim majority countries.
He returned to the academic world in 2011 to a new Chair at Coventry and continues to contribute to conferences, global discussions and applied research in intercultural dialogue, multiculturalism and diversity. Mike is active within the UN Alliance of Civilizations, is lead advisor to the World Forum for Intercultural Dialogue in Baku and directs the RISING Global Peace Forum at Coventry. Professor Hardy has been twice honoured, awarded the OBE in 2001 for his peace-building work in the Middle East, and appointed a Companion of Honour of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours June 2010 for his work internationally in Intercultural Dialogue.