Based on its humanitarian mandate, the ICRC has a unique dialogue with armed forces, police, security forces, and non-state armed groups in over 100 countries across the globe. Ken Hume heads the ICRC’s Unit for Relations with Arms Carriers which is responsible for supporting this dialogue. The unit has a Headquarters element in Geneva and around 140 delegates and staff embedded in ICRC delegations worldwide, the majority of whom are retired senior military and police officers.
Ken is a former British Army Officer with a 20 year career in the infantry. His military service includes operational tours ranging from internal security operations in Northern Ireland to UN and NATO operations in the Balkans, and to service with US Central Command on Afghanistan. In the international military arena, he has attended the Command and Staff College in Pakistan, served on secondment with the Canadian Army and with the Italian Rapid Reaction Corps, as a military attaché at the UK Mission to the UN in New York, and as an adviser with the British Military Advisory and Training Team in South Africa. He was awarded an MBE in 2002 in the UK National Honours Lists in recognition of service.
Since leaving the Army in 2006, Ken has worked primarily for the ICRC across East Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, including Somalia, South Sudan, Chad, Jordan, Syria and Myanmar. He has substantive experience dealing with both state militaries and also non state armed groups. Outside the ICRC environment, he has worked for the EU Crisis Management and Planning Directorate as Chief of Staff, as well as Head of UK DFiD in Haiti, a senior adviser for the UN in Jordan, and as the Civil-Military Relations Coordinator for IFRC in Asia Pacific.