Minister of the Environment
Alex at a glance
Alex Attwood is the Minister of the Environment on the Northern Ireland Executive and is a former Minister for Social Development.
A native of Belfast, Alex attended St Malachy’s College and Queen's University and Belfast Institute of Professional Legal Studies, graduating with an LLB. Alex qualified and worked as a solicitor in the city before devoting himself to fulltime politics.
Alex first got involved in student politics at university, serving as Student President of the Students’ Union 1982-83 overseeing a time of change and investment at the university.
Alex represented West Belfast on the Upper Falls council since 1985 and became leader of the SDLP Belfast City Council Group. In 1997 he was instrumental in negotiations that gave Belfast its first nationalist mayor.
Appointed in 1997 by John Hume to the Dublin Forum for Peace and Reconciliation, Alex’s commitment to an all-Ireland agenda is close to his heart. As a member of the SDLP Talks Team, he played a key negotiating role on policing, human rights and justice issues.
Elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in June 1998, Alex was appointed to the Northern Ireland Policing Board in September 2001 on which he served until 2007. During this time he was influential in the implementation of many of the recommendations of the Patten report.
Minister Attwood has sat on the Assembly OFMDFM committee, the Assembly Executive Review Committee and was the party’s spokesman on North/South matters.
In September 2009, Alex returned to the Policing Board on the 10th Anniversary of the Patten Reforms of policing. He served on the Policing Board until his appointment as Social Development Minister. Folllowing the 2011 Assembly election, Alex returned to the Executive table as the SDLP Minister of the Environment
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