Chairman FCO Services
Chairing the Board of a Trading Fund (effectively a government owned company) which employs 1,000 people and turned over c £160 million last year (growing from £90 million six years ago). Its focus is delivering secure services to the UK and other governments.
Chairman Rothschild India (Private) Ltd
April 2012 – February 2015 British Ambassador to Afghanistan
Oversaw the transformation of the UK’s engagement from a large-scale military presence (10,000 troops) to a principally civilian role. Closed our large office in Helmand in good order. Supported the successful transition, both security and political, from President Karzai to the National Unity Government.
September 2007 – November 2011: High Commissioner to India
Created an integrated, pan-India presence (featured on BBC Radio 4). Developed the commercial relationship: India became one of the top 4 foreign investors in the UK (Tata our largest manufacturing employer) and the UK became the largest foreign investor in India. Successful handling of the aftermath of November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
December 2003 – June 2007: Chief Operating Officer, FCO (overseeing Visa work, Consular, IT, HR, Estates, Security)
Streamlined Senior Management Structure (down from over 480 to below 400 in 3 years). Led FCO response to 2004 Tsunami. Delivered the global roll-out of the FCO’s Oracle system.
October 2001 – December 2003: Director of Public Services, later Director of Information
Simplified, streamlined and eventually dismantled an unwieldy and ineffective structure. Re-engineered Consular and Visa operations, as self-funding activities.
October 1998 – October 2001: British Ambassador to Bulgaria
Bulgarian agreement to allow NATO to use their airspace during the Kosovo air campaign. Crown Agents appointed to run Bulgarian Customs (raising revenue by a factor of almost three in 4 years). Sharp increase in heroin seizures due to unprecedented UK/Bulgaria collaboration (2 tonnes in one year).
January 1996 – June 1998: Head, EU (External) Department, FCO
Conceived and delivered UK strategy on EU Enlargement – a top priority for the government. Successful launch of negotiations during the 1998 UK Presidency of the EU. Negotiated, with the European Commission, an agreement on US extraterritorial sanctions (a significant threat to UK companies) which was finalised at the 1998 EU/US Summit in London.
1993–1996: Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary (Douglas Hurd and Malcolm Rifkind), focussed principally on Europe.
1991 –1993: British Press Spokesman in Brussels (during the Maastricht Treaty negotiations).
1988–1991: Soviet Department, FCO (during the collapse of the USSR).
Trustee: Turquoise Mountain Foundation
Trustee: Afghan Connection
MA in history from Oxford University