Topic: Douglas Alexander

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Douglas Garven Alexander (born 26 October 1967) is a British Labour politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Paisley and Renfrewshire South since 1997. Currently, he is the Secretary of State for International Development, and prior to this has served in a number of government posts. On 24 June 2007, incoming-Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that Alexander would be appointed as his General Election Co-Ordinator.

Born in Glasgow, the son of a Church of Scotland minister, Douglas N. Alexander and a doctor, much of Alexander's childhood was spent in Bishopton in Renfrewshire. A prominent member of the 1st Bishopton Company of the Boys Brigade, he played bugle in the Company's marching band helping them win the Scottish BB Marching Band Championship in 1981. Alexander attended Park Mains High School in Erskine, also in Renfrewshire, from where he joined the Labour Party as a school boy in 1982. In 1984 he won a Scottish scholarship to attend Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific in Canada, where he gained the International Baccalaureate Diploma, returning to Scotland to study politics and modern history at the University of Edinburgh. He won a further scholarship in 1988 to study at the University Of Pennsylvania. Whilst studying in America, he worked for Michael Dukakis during the 1988 American Presidential Election campaign, he also worked for a Democratic senator in Washington, D.C..

In 1990 he worked as a speech-writer and parliamentary researcher for Shadow Trade and Industry Secretary, Gordon Brown. He returned to Edinburgh to study for an LL.B. at Edinburgh University, where he won the Novice Moot Trophy and graduated with Distinction in 1993. He then qualified as a solicitor. On qualifying as a solicitor he worked for a firm of solicitors in Edinburgh his only 'real' job outside politics. He left after 6-months.

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