Press release

Change of British High Commissioner to Rwanda

Mr William Gelling has been appointed British High Commissioner to Rwanda.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

William Gelling

William Gelling

He will succeed Mr Benedict Llewellyn-Jones, who will be transferring to another Diplomatic Service appointment. Mr Gelling will take up his appointment during January 2014.

Mr Gelling joined the FCO in 2001. Most recently he was Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary, advising him on the Middle East, Africa, the UN and the Commonwealth.

Before that, he variously led the team dealing with negotiations with Iran over its nuclear programme; was posted to Baghdad as Liaison Officer between the British Embassy and the Multinational Military Headquarters; served for three years in Pakistan, covering political, conflict and extremism issues; and was attached to a British trade office in India.

He speaks Urdu and French. He is married, and received an OBE in 2013 for services to British foreign policy.

On his appointment as British High Commissioner to Rwanda, Mr Gelling has said:

I am delighted to have been appointed British High Commissioner to the Republic of Rwanda.

It is a privilege to have the opportunity to strengthen relations between the UK and Rwanda at such an important time. I look forward to building on the growing links between the two countries to further our shared economic, political, and security interests.

Curriculum vitae

Personal details  
Full name: William John Gelling OBE
Married to: Lucy Elizabeth Gelling
Period Post
Apr 2013 – Dec 2013 Full-time language training (French)
Jan 2010 – March 2013 FCO, Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary
Jun 2007 – Dec 2009 FCO, Head of Multilateral Team, Iran Coordination Group
Apr 2006 – Apr 2007 Baghdad, First Secretary (Political-Military)
Dec 2003 – Feb 2006 Islamabad, Second Secretary (Counter-Terrorism/Internal)
Nov 2002 – Nov 2003 Full-time language training (Urdu)
Sep 2001 – Nov 2002 FCO, G8 Sous-Sherpa Assistant, Economic Policy Department
2001 Joined FCO

Further information

UK and Rwanda

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Published 8 January 2014