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Minister of State for Europe in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Douglas Alexander MP

Douglas AlexanderDouglas Alexander was appointed Minister of State for Europe in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in May 2005.

Born in Glasgow in 1967, Mr Alexander grew up in Bishopton, where his father was the local Minister until his recent retirement. He attended Bishopton Primary and Park Mains High in Erskine, and at the age of fourteen he joined the Labour Party.

In 1984, at the age of 17, Mr Alexander won a Scottish Scholarship to attend an international college in Vancouver, Canada, for two years. After gaining the International Baccalaureate, he returned to Scotland to study Politics and Modern History at Edinburgh University.

During this time, he Chaired the University Labour Club, then the largest student Labour Club in the country, and held a number of positions in his local Constituency Labour Party.

In 1988, he won a further scholarship to study for a year at the University of Pennysylvania, an Ivy League University in Philadelphia, USA. During his time in the States, he worked as a Press Steward for the Dukakis Presidential Campaign, and worked for a Democratic Senator on Capitol Hill.

After graduating with a first class MA Hons Degree, he began work as a Parliamentary Researcher and Speechwriter for Gordon Brown MP, a position he held for a year, before returning to Scotland to qualify as a lawyer.

He graduated from Edinburgh University LLB (Dist) in 1993, and gained his Diploma in Legal Practice the following year.

Mr Alexander was appointed Minister for e-Commerce and Competitiveness at the Department of Trade and Industry in June 2001.

In May 2002, he was appointed Minister of State at the Cabinet Office, overseeing the work of the Government's influential Strategy Unit, the Central Office of Information, and the Civil Service. In the June 2003 reshuffle, Mr Alexander was promoted to Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

He was appointed Minister of State for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs on 9 September 2004.

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