Skandar Keynes entered politics in 2014, after graduating from the University of Cambridge with a BA in Middle Eastern Studies (Arabic and Persian). He first completed an internship at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Then Skandar joined the staff of an MP at the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
UNHCR Jordan (2014)
For three months, from October to December 2014, Skandar was a research assistant to Frances Voon (UNHCR Policy Development and Evaluation Service). She is the principal author of Living in the Shadows: Home Visits Report 2014 | Syrian Refugees in Jordan (2015). This “report is based on data gathered” from “questionnaires covering almost 150,000 Syrian refugees.” UNHCR’s partner International Relief and Development (IRD) collected the data “during home visits … between January and June 2014.” Skandar’s research assistance included visits to the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan.
Khallaf, Shaden. “The Syrian Refugee Crisis in the Middle East.” In Land of Blue Helmets: The United Nations and the Arab World, edited by Karim Makdisi and Vijay Prashad, 359-71. Oakland: U of California P, 2017.
UK Parliament (2015-present)
Skandar has worked on the staff of Crispin Blunt MP (Conservative, Reigate) since May 2015. Blunt chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) and is a member of four others. His political interests are defense, energy, the environment, and foreign affairs in the countries of India and the USA, as well as the Middle East.
- 21-27 November 2015: Skandar accompanied two FAC members to Beirut, Lebanon, which was part of the committee’s inquiry into the UK’s role in the fight against ISIL.
- 23 February 2016: Skandar accompanied two FAC members to a forum that the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs hosted in Brussels, Belgium. At this forum, Nabih Berri (Lebanese Parliament speaker), Martin Kobler (UN Envoy to Libya), Federica Mogherini (High Representative of the European Commission), and Jens Stoltenberg (NATO Secretary-General) addressed the national committees on “Towards the NATO Summit in Warsaw” and “Conflicts in the MENA Region.”
- January 15 – “A Three-Month Internship at UNCHR” (Skandar Keynes)
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