Sir Simon McDonald KCMG KCVO, Permanent Under Secretary and Head of the Diplomatic Service, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Join us to hear Sir Simon McDonald KCMG KCVO discuss the current priorities for the FCO and in particular the geopolitical context in which the UK will seek to protect its interests, and grow its global influence. He will also give insight into his role in managing the FCO, as well as reflecting on his leadership journey through the British Diplomatic Service. 

About the speaker

In his role as Permanent Under Secretary and Head of the Diplomatic Service at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Sir Simon McDonald is responsible for advising the Foreign Secretary and the ministerial team on foreign policy, and for managing the FCO. He also chairs the FCO Board.

Sir Simon joined the British Diplomatic Service in 1982 and has served in Berlin, Jeddah, Riyadh, Bonn, Washington and Tel Aviv, and in a wide range of jobs in London.

Before taking up his current role, Sir Simon served as the British Ambassador to Berlin from 2010 to 2015. He was the Prime Minister’s Foreign Policy Adviser and Head of Foreign and Defence Policy in the Cabinet Office from 2007 to 2010. From 2003 to 2006 he was British Ambassador to Israel.

He was appointed Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George in 2014.


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