Professor Mike Hardy CMG OBE

Coventry University

  • Professor of Intercultural Relations
  • Executive Director, Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations


Mike HardyMike joined Coventry University in 2011 to lead and transform the University’s work in social and community cohesion. He has, most recently, taken strategic responsibility for Coventry University’s work in Human Security and now leads the new University Research Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations. Mike’s work focuses on human security and specifically living with difference and with inter- and intra-community relations. His particular current interest is in intercultural and interfaith dialogue, social cohesion, and the consequences for domestic communities of state foreign policies.

From 1995-2011, Mike was a senior leader with the British Council responsible for the Council’s global programme for interfaith and intercultural dialogue, youth engagement and global strategic partnerships. With Developed Vetting, he was a member of HMG’s Overseas PREVENT.

From 2007-2010, Mike led the British Council’s ‘Our Shared Europe’ Programme, exploring and communicating the role of Muslims in Europe and the relationship between faith identities and citizenship. He developed this further in 2011 with an extension to North America with the ‘Transatlantic Bridge’ project. From 2012-2014, he was co-director of the European Commission’s ‘Support to the Promotion of the Amman Message in Europe’ project in partnership with the Jordanian Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies, hosting and moderating colloquia of faith leaders, academics and community participant in five European Cities.

Mike’s current practical portfolio includes work as strategy adviser with the United Nations, and with the Governments of Azerbaijan and Jordan on intercultural dialogue and interfaith action: he is senior expert adviser to the Baku Process – a global dialogue forum held biannually for representatives of more than 100 countries. He advises multi-level stakeholders on anticipating and working with tensions in highly challenged community contexts. He has active links in ASEAN countries drawing on European experience of shared security.

Mike is an applied economist by training and was Head of Economics and Public Policy at Leeds Metropolitan University before moving to a Chair in International Business at the University of Central Lancashire. His policy and research work in economics focused on local jobs plans and skills for development in local labour markets. In 1995, following work with the UK Government, British Council and European Commission, Mike moved full time to the British Council to develop international work in intercultural relations with diplomatic postings in Cairo, East Jerusalem, Jakarta as well as in London.

Mike was awarded the OBE in 2001 for his work in the Middle East, and was appointed as 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. He is a trustee of one of the leading interfaith organisations in the UK, Three Faiths Forum, and a life fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts.