Priscilla “Scilla” Elworthy (born 3 June 1943) is a peace builder, and the founder of the Oxford Research Group, a non-governmental organisation she set up in 1982 to develop effective dialogue between nuclear weapons policy-makers worldwide and their critics, for which she was nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize. She served as its executive director from 1982 until 2003, when she left that role to set up Peace Direct, a charity supporting local peace-builders in conflict areas. In 2003, she was awarded the Niwano Peace Prize. From 2005, she was adviser to Peter Gabriel, Desmond Tutu and Richard Branson in setting up The Elders. She is a member of the World Future Council, and in 2012 co-founded Rising Women Rising World, a community of women on all continents who take responsibility for building a world that works for all.
In 2017, she wrote The Business Plan for Peace: Building a World Without War and now leads an organisation of the same name which provides people and organisations with the skills and support to transform conflict.
Born in Galashiels, Elworthy attended Berkhamsted School for Girls on a Herts County Scholarship, before moving to Ireland in 1962 to study social sciences at Trinity College, Dublin. During her vacations, she worked in refugee camps in France and Algiers. After graduating, she travelled around West Africa to South Africa and, between 1966 and 1969, became involved in marketing for various boutiques, most notably introducing the Mary Quant range. In 1993, she gained her PhD in political science from Bradford University.
Photo credit: Scilla Elworthy