Holding an MSc in Development Management from the Open University, Nigel worked for over 8 years on projects in Romania, mostly focused on improving conditions for the Roma including institution building, policy development, and research. This spell in Eastern Europe followed time in the military working with Gurkha soldiers which took him to Nepal, Belize, Brunei, and Hong Kong. Earlier a BA in Anthropology and History from Durham University gave him an enthusiasm for both disciplines.
His experience in Romania prompted him to interview 50 westerners who had chosen to make a life there, in contrast to the trend at the time of Romanians wanting to leave their post-communist world. The result was the publication of an oral history, ‘Times New Romanian’. Following the acquisition of family photographs and documents focused on the British established in the Naga Hills in the early 19th century, he made two visits to Nagaland and with the support of the Highland Institute published, through the Highland Press,‘The Diary of Connie Shakespear – The Naga Hills 1900-1902’.