Following National Service in the Royal Engineers Sir Harold (Hooky) Walker read Modern History at Worcester College, Oxford.
After Oxford he spent 35 years in the Diplomatic Service, during which all but two of his postings overseas were in the Arab world. At home he twice worked in the personnel function. Between 1979 and 1991 he was ambassador successively to Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia and Iraq. Other postings included Syria. He has thus lived in three of the four dioceses that JMECA exists to help.
For the first ten years of his retirement Hooky Walker gave most of his time to the emergency relief and development aid organisation CARE International, by which he had been impressed in Ethiopia, becoming eventually Chairman of CARE International UK and then President of CARE International itself. Meanwhile he took on various other commitments, including being a Commissioner of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and an Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute. From 2001 to 2008 he was Chairman of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs, a membership organisation over 100 years old that seeks to promote interest in all the countries of Asia. From 2006 to 2010 he was President of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies, a membership organisation for, mainly, academics professionally engaged in any aspect of Middle Eastern studies.
Hooky Walker’s home church is Chelsea Old Church, where he sometimes reads the Lessons.