Douglas is a Visiting Professor at King's College and a Visiting Professor at New York University (Abu Dhabi), a Council Member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, a Trustee of the Royal United Services Institute, a Governor of The Ditchley Foundation and a Member of the UK Privy Council. He currently serves as a Senior Advisor to The Rise Funds (a global impact fund aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals). He is a writer and presenter of various BBC Radio 4 documentary programmes, including: ‘A Culture of Encounter’, ‘Belonging’, ‘Disagreeing Better’, 'Glasgow: Our Last Best Hope' and 'Connections'.
Douglas served in various roles as both a Minister of State and Secretary of State in the UK Government from 2001 to 2010. Under Prime Minister Tony Blair, he was appointed Minister for E-Commerce & Competitiveness, Minister of State for the Cabinet Office, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Minister of State for Trade Investment & Foreign Affairs, and Minister of State for Europe, before being appointed Secretary of State for Scotland, and Secretary of State for Transport. After Gordon Brown became Prime Minister, Douglas became Secretary of State for International Development and the UK Governor of the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank. He served as a Member of Parliament from 1997 to 2015.