Simon Manley CMG, British Ambassador to Spain

Spain: Opportunities and Challenges in 2018


The Ambassador will give an overview of the political situation in Spain, especially in the light of the Catalonian secessionist movement, and give an update on UK business opportunities in Spain.



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  • About the speaker

    Simon Manley has been a member of HM Diplomatic Service since 1990. He took up post as British Ambassador to Spain and non-resident Ambassador to Andorra on 28 October 2013.

    Before his posting to Madrid, Simon was Director Europe at the FCO (2011-2013), responsible for policy toward the EU, the UK’s bilateral relations with its European partners, and the FCO’s network of 57 European posts and more than 2000 staff. He served previously as the FCO’s Director Defence and Strategic Threats (2008-2011), leading the Government’s international counter-terrorist, counter-proliferation and counter-narcotics efforts, as head of Counter-Terrorism Policy (2006-2008) and as head of the EU Economic, Central Europe and Ireland department (2002-2006).

    He has been posted to the UK’s Mission to the United Nations in New York (1993-1998), where he worked on Yugoslavia and UN reform, and has twice been seconded to the European Union: to the European Commission (2003), working on State Aids policy, and to the Council of the EU (1998-2002), working on Russia and Ukraine and then East Asia.

    Simon was made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in HM The Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2009 and a Commander of the Polish Order of Merit in 2004.

    Simon read Modern History at Magdalen College, Oxford and International Relations at Yale University Graduate School. He is married to Maria Isabel Fernandez Utges Manley, an IP, competition and regulatory lawyer. They have three daughters: Chiara (2000), Melissa (2001) and Natasha (2008).

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