MP for Bethnal Green & Bow and Futureversity alumnus
Rushanra Ali grew up in Tower Hamlets having moved to the UK from Bangladesh when she was seven. She worked as Research Assistant to Lord Young of Dartington (author of the 1945 Labour Party manifesto) and helped him set up Futureversity (then Tower Hamlets Summer University) before going on to become a Parliamentary Assistant for Oona King, former MP for Bethnal Green & Bow in 1997.
She then worked on human rights at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and as a Research Fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research until, prior to her election in May 2010 when she defeated George Galloway’s Respect Party, she worked at the Home Office, leading a work programme in response to the 2001 disturbances in the north of England. In 2010 she was appointed to the Labour front bench as Shadow Minister for International Development and is Labour spokesperson on international development matters for Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, International Finance and trade Wealth Creation and Private Sector, Conflict and Stabilisation. She has continued her involvement with Futureversity, initially on the Board of Trustees, then as a Patron from 2011.