Richard David Arthur Burge is a British civil servant who was formerly Chief Executive of Wilton Park, an executive agency of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Burge was born in Hong Kong, where his father was stationed with the Army, and educated at a boarding school in Shropshire. He studied Zoology at Durham University, graduating in 1980. He was subsequently a Commonwealth Scholar at the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka.
After some further studies at Cambridge he began his career at the British Council, where he spent 10 years in a variety of roles, beginning in Nigeria and finishing as Head of Africa and Middle East Development Operations. In 1995 Burge was appointed Director General of the Zoological Society of London - a conservation charity that also runs London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo. He joined the Countryside Alliance as Chief Executive in 2000. He was critical of the government during the 2001 foot-and-mouth crisis, arguing that infected animals should have been culled sooner. His tenure was notable for a march that took place in Central London in September 2002 that attracted 400,000 people, organised partly in response to a proposed ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales. A legal challenge from the Countryside Alliance against the ban was later unsuccessful.
From 2009 to 2016 Burge served as Chief Executive of Wilton Park. He left this role to take up the position of CEO with the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, based at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London.
Burge owns a chateau in France.
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- "Huge turnout for countryside march". BBC News. 22 September 2002. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
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- "Mr Richard Burge announced as CWEIC's new CEO | The Commonwealth". The Commonwealth. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- "Our People". Property Merchant Group. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
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