I was born at Blenheim, Marlborough, New Zealand on 29 October 1961. My given names are Bernard Francis Cadogan. I have Republic of Ireland and New Zealand nationalities.
I was educated at Otago, Cambridge and Oxford Universities, finally graduating with a D.Phil. from Oxford. I matriculated at Peterhouse, Cambridge in 1985 and at Keble College Oxford, in 2002, where I am now an honorary member of the Senior Common Room.
I have been a New Zealand political adviser since 1996 and New Zealand Treasury consultant since 2011. I served Rt Hon Bill English, Rt Hon Dame Jennifer Shipley, Rt Hon Simon Upton and Hon Trevor Mallard, who is now currently Speaker of the House of Representatives. I have served both National and Labour Party governments, and also gave advice to the Maori Party between 2008-2017.
I served as Foreign Affairs Adviser to the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Rt Hon Bill English during his term in office from 13 December 2016 to 26 October 2017. I had previously been Brexit Adviser on the EU and UK throughout 2016.
I was co-founder of the New Zealand Constitutional Review between the Crown and Maori which sat 2011-13, reporting in 2013.
I was appointed Advisor to King Tuheitia the seventh King of the Maori Kiingitanga in March 2015
I am married to Jacqueline Richold Johnson. We live in Oxford UK with our three children, two sons born 2007 and 2015 and our daughter born in 2012.
My research interests are in the philosophy of Paul Ricoeur (1913-2005), John Rawls (1921-2002), and of Charles Taylor (b. 1931), and in the political career of Sir George Grey (1812 -1898) who was Governor of South Australia, twice Governor of New Zealand, Governor of the Cape Colony and High Commissioner for Southern Africa, and Premier of New Zealand.
Postcolonial thought, the formation of empires, and the resilience, relevance and viability of small nation states are my main intellectual focus, apart from poetry.