Public Policy

I have extensive practical experience working with policy-makers and practitioners at the local and international level, including the UN OHCHR and other agencies.  Collaboration between scholarship and practice has been focused on developing meaningful and policy-oriented analysis.

Professional experience

2013 –    Deputy Director, Global Governance Institute, UCL

The GGI is a university-wide initiative, which in collaboration with partners within and outside UCL, harnesses the unique strengths of a world-leading multi-faculty university to address the challenges facing global society and promote informed public debate on possible solutions.  Launched in September 2013, the GGI has had an eventful first year (at page 95).

2011-2013   Director, Policy Institute at Trinity College Dublin (2012-2013)

Mary Lawlor, Front Line Defenders, Professor Maria Baghramian, UCD, Professor Noam Chomsky, and Dr Tom Pegram, TC

As Director of the Policy Institute at Trinity College I hosted a series of research-led policy outreach events (workshops, conferences and public lectures) throughout the academic year.  In 2013, Policy Institute events included public lectures with Noam Chomsky (videocast here) and Jan-Vincent Rostowski, the Deputy Prime Minister of Poland.


2014   Does Torture Prevention Work? Case Studies on Chile and Peru, Project coordinated by Dr Richard Carver (Oxford Brookes).  Commissioned and supported by the Association for the Prevention of Torture (with Dr Par Engstrom, UCL)

2013    Investigation commissioned on the merger of the Irish Human Rights Commission and Equality Authority as part of a pan-European study ‘Bridging the Divide?  Integrating the Functions of National Equality Bodies and NHRIs in the EU’, coordinated by University College London, funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

2011   National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and Torture Prevention in Latin America, British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Human Rights & Democracy Programme Fund (with Dr. Par Engstrom, UCL)

Consultant and contributor to biannual report on sustainable human development in Central America, State of the Region Program, Costa Rica.

Occasional contributor, Oxford Analytica


Thomas Pegram & Sarah Hawkes, ‘Lifestyle diseases make global health promotion more difficult than ever,’ The Conversation, 18 June 2014

Thomas Pegram & Rory Sullivan, ‘Why the moral case for the living wage is not enough,’ The Guardian, Tuesday 29 April 2014

Thomas Pegram, ‘Concern grows over human rights policing vacuum as merger crawls to conclusion’ [firewall], The Irish Times, Monday 8 April 2013

Thomas Pegram, ‘The equality commission deserves our support,’ The Guardian, Thursday 6 October 2011

Reports and working papers

Non‐Communicable Diseases: Global Epidemics; Global Determinants; Global Solutions? Background paper for UCL workshop ‘The Political Economy of Global Health’, 18 June 2014 (with Sonja Tanaka, Sarah Hawkes and Kent Buse)

How must the global health and AIDS architecture be modernised to achieve sustainable global health? Consultation report for UNAIDS and Lancet Commission third Working Group on Defeating AIDS (with Dr. Sarah Hawkes), 2 December 2013

Thomas Pegram, Bridging the Divide: The Merger of the Irish Equality Authority and Human Rights Commission, Studies in Public Policy (Policy Institute, Trinity College Dublin, 2013)

Thomas Pegram, The Equality and Human Rights Commission: Challenges and Opportunities, AHRC Public Policy Series No. 1 (Arts and Humanities Research Council, 2012)

Thomas Pegram, ‘International Standards and Local Reform Outcomes: Assessing the Equality and Human Rights Commission,’ Equality and Human Rights Commission Project Working Paper Series, Human Rights Consortium (University of London, February 2012)

Seminars and interventions

The Role of Ombudsmen in Advancing Open Government. World Bank Webinar, in association with the International Ombudsman Institute, 16 April 2014

Roundtable organiser: ‘Business ethics, supply chains and a living wage,’ Institute of Global Governance Event, UCL, 3 April 2014

The Role of Ombudsmen in Promoting Good Governance and Effective Service Delivery, World Bank Roundtable, Washington D.C., 25 March 2014

Contribution to UN knowledge network: HuriTALK on the expanded role of NHRIs in the second cycle of the UPR/programming opportunities for UN entities, 26 May 2012

Conference co-organiser (with Par Engstrom): ‘National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and Implementation of UPR Recommendations Relating to Torture Prevention,’ University of Palermo Law School, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 13-14 December 2011 (funded by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

The Role of National Human Rights Institutions, presented at First Meeting of National Focal Points, Jointly convened by the Foreign Ministries of Costa Rica, Denmark and Ghana, in association with the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, New York, 17 May 2011

Thomas Pegram, ‘Weak Institutions, Rights Claims and Pathways to Compliance: the Transformative Role of the Human Rights Ombudsman,’ presented at UNDP/CRISE Regional Workshop on Horizontal Inequalities and Conflict Prevention, Jakarta, Indonesia, 26-27 July 2010

‘El diseño institucional que requieren las Defensorías del Pueblo en las metrópolis’ presented at Derechos Humanos y Metrópolis, Mexico City Commission for Human Rights, Mexico City DF., Mexico, 24 April 2009

Workshop organiser: ‘The role of national human rights institutions in detention monitoring’ (with Ryan Goodman), in collaboration with UN OHCHR and the International Coordinating Committee of NHRIs, Geneva, 23 March 2009