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Levelling-up or Left Behind?: Durham Cathedral Institute Debate

Friday 7 October at 7:30 PM

Join two leading experts and public figures, Dr Fiona Hill and Professor John Tomaney, both from the North East to discuss and debate the restoration of communities and the renewal of opportunity and social mobility.

Levelling-up or Left Behind? Restoring Communities and Renewing Opportunity, is the second Durham Cathedral Institute event and explores the Government’s ‘Levelling-Up the UK’ White Paper published in 2022.

‘Levelling-Up the UK’ is a flagship set of policies is described as ‘a moral, social and economic programme for the whole of government’ and sets out how opportunity will be spread more equally across the UK.

As part of the debate there will be opportunities for you to submit your questions to the speakers. A recording of the event will be available to watch online for anyone who is unable to be there in person.

About Fiona Hill

Fiona Hill is a native of Bishop Auckland where her father worked as a coal miner and her mother as a midwife. After studying at the University of St. Andrews, she won a scholarship to study at Harvard University where she earned a PhD in Russian history.

From 2006 to 2009, Fiona was an intelligence analyst under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. In 2017, she was appointed by Donald Trump as Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Europe and Russia at The White House National Security Council. In 2019, she testified at President Trump’s first impeachment trial. She is now Robert Bosch Senior Fellow, Center on the United States & Europe at The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC.

Fiona is author of There Is Nothing for You Here: Finding Opportunity in the 21st Century (Mariner Books, 2021) and co-author of Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin (Brookings Institution Press, 2015). She has become a major public figure in the US and UK, commenting on US domestic politics and global affairs. She has worked extensively on social mobility and community regeneration in the US, UK, and Germany.

About John Tomaney

John Tomaney is a native of Sacriston, County Durham and is currently Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at University College, London. John’s research concerns development of cities and regions as socioeconomic, political, and cultural phenomena and the role of public policy in their management. He focusses especially on questions of the governance of local and regional economies, including questions of spatial planning.

Introducing Durham Cathedral Institute

New for 2022, the Institute will host public talks and panel discussions at Durham Cathedral, with topics inspired by current affairs and issues which particularly affect the North East. Learn more about the Durham Cathedral Institute.

Donations welcome

When you're booking a ticket you can add an optional donation to the cathedral. All funds received in this way will support the work of Durham Cathedral Institute, a new initiative creating opportunities for people in the North East to engage with experts and public figures on the major social, political and ethical issues of our times. To find out more about supporting the Institute, contact


  • Free, but must be booked in advance.

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