60 seconds with ... Edward Twiddy
1 minute with our Chief Innovation Officer and Company Secretary where we asked him whatever we wanted.
PositionChief Innovation Officer and also Company Secretary.
Yes please. I started at Durham, then it was Liverpool and a lab in Oxford, next it was Durham and Miami, and finally Nottingham. I’ve been really lucky to have studied in geography, maths, biological sciences and law departments before ending up in a centre dedicated to the politics and people of the Middle East.
I had 13 years at the Treasury with spells at the Foreign Office, the PM’s Delivery Unit and secondment to be CEO of the North East LEP. Before the Treasury I had some time with the UN and before that with a small outfit working on international boundary disputes in the Middle East.
If you could own any pet, what would it be?
It’s always been springer spaniels.
When are you at your happiest?
On the cold northern beaches with the family.
Favourite holiday location
My best ever holiday was in Madagascar; we went for a month and met people who really knew the place and had been going for 25/30 years.
Eating rare animals, not rhinos or polar bears though!
Most valuable thing you own
I’ve got some beautiful first editions.
Song of your funeral
It has to be a particular rendition of Christine Perfect, singing “I’d rather go blind”, because it makes me cry and I’d want to see everyone else cry.
Toughest thing about your job
The Chief Exec.
If you weren’t in finance what would you be doing?
I’d love to be a gardener, if I had a real chance I would take an old walled garden and restore it.
Best piece of advice you’ve been given
“Look left, look right, look left again”.
Advice for graduates looking to do what you do
I wouldn’t be so bold as to offer advice, but I’m glad I didn’t hurry into an office based existence and instead went places and immersed myself in things that were at times deeply uncomfortable. I don’t think I was overly stupid about it, but I got scared, saw stuff and most importantly grew a sense of perspective.