Lord Ashdown served as the High Representative of the International Community and EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 2002 and 2006. This role followed his high-profile advocacy of international intervention in the region during the conflict. He was awarded the GCMG for this work in the New Year's Honours 2006.
Lord Ashdown had served as an MP for Yeovil between 1983 and 2001. During this time the SDP and Liberal Party unified and he became leader of the resultant Liberal Democrats from 1988 to 1999.
Lord Ashdown served as a Royal Marine between 1959 and 1971 and commanded 2 Special Boat Section in the Far East. Leaving the Royal Marines he joined the Foreign Office where he was first secretary to the to the UK mission to the UN in Geneva from 1971 to 1976.
After a period working in business in the Yeovil area of the South-West Lord Ashdown became the local MP in 1983. He was immediately given the position of Liberal spokesman on Trade and Industry Affairs within the Liberal/SDP alliance.
He has written several books including: Citizen's Britain in 1989, Beyond Westminster in 1994 and Making Change Our Ally in 1994.