Duncan MacLaren was born in Scotland and studied German and Celtic languages at the University of Glasgow and theology and development studies at the University of Edinburgh. He was Executive Director of SCIAF, the Scottish Caritas, and spent 12 years in the Vatican as Director of Programmes and then Secretary General of the Caritas Confederation. In 2007, he went to Australian Catholic University in Sydney for six months as a Visiting Professor and subsequently stayed six years lecturing in international development studies and Catholic Social Teaching topics.
He also coordinated a programme for ACU offering tertiary education to Burmese refugees and migrants on the Thai-Burma border. He returned to Scotland in December 2013 and is doing a doctorate on Faith and Praxis at the School of Critical Studies at the University of Glasgow. He is the author of a number of book chapters and journal articles on development, CST, refugee studies and politics. He is a co-founder of Glasgow Lay Dominicans, a group within the Order with a special bias towards the poor.
Languages: Scottish, English, French, Spanish, Italian