News story

Change of British High Commissioner to the Republic of Zambia

Mr James Thornton has been appointed British High Commissioner to the Republic of Zambia in succession to Mr Thomas Carter and Ms Carolyn Davidson, who will be transferring to other Diplomatic Service appointments.

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

Mr Thornton will take up his appointment in January 2012.

James Thornton joined the FCO in 1989 and has held a wide range of positions in London and overseas. Previous Africa experience includes being Deputy Ambassador in Cote d’Ivoire and as Deputy Head of the joint FCO/DFID Sudan Unit in London. His most recent posting was as the UK’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the OECD in Paris.

On his appointment, James Thornton said: “I am delighted to have been appointed to represent the United Kingdom in Zambia. As the Foreign Secretary has said, through the transfer of power as a result of the elections in Zambia, the country has shown Africa and the world the power of democracy.

“I will be working further to deepen the excellent relations that already exist between our two countries.”

Curriculum vitae

Full name: James Sebastian Thornton

2007 - 2011

UK Delegation to the OECD, Deputy Head of Mission

2005 - 2007
FCO/DfID Sudan Unit, Deputy Head

2003 - 2004
Abidjan, Deputy Head of Mission

2000 - 2003

Mexico City, Head of Political Section

1997 - 1999
FCO, Head of War Crimes Section, United Nations Department

1995 - 1996
FCO, Permanent Under-Secretary’s Department

1994 - 1995
FCO, North Africa Desk Officer, Near East and North Africa Department

1992 - 1994
Algiers, Second Secretary Political/Economic/Commercial


UK Mission to the UN in New York, UNGA Second Committee desk officer

1990 - 1991 FCO, Non-Nuclear Energy Desk Officer, Environment, Science and Energy Department


Joined FCO

Updates to this page

Published 14 October 2011