Press release

Change of Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Afghanistan

Karen Pierce has been appointed Her Majesty's Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

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

Karen Pierce

Ms Karen Pierce CMG has been appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in succession to Sir Richard Stagg KCMG, who has retired from the Diplomatic Service. Ms Pierce will take up her appointment during May 2015.

Ms Pierce joined the FCO in 1982 and has served in Tokyo, Washington, at the UN in New York and since 2012 as the UK Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN, WTO and other International Organisations in Geneva. She is married to Charles Roxburgh and has two sons.

On her appointment as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Ms Pierce said:

It is a huge honour to represent the United Kingdom in Afghanistan and a privilege to follow all those British military and civilians who have given so much to the country and to whom we owe such a deep debt.

A stable, secure and prosperous Afghanistan is important to Britain as well as to the people of Afghanistan. The excellent cross-Government team in our Kabul Embassy has been taking forward Britain’s lasting commitment to Afghanistan’s security and development. I am excited about working with them and working in partnership with the Afghan Government and people to build on the results of November’s London Conference, affirming the path to lasting peace, security and prosperity.


Full name Karen Elizabeth Pierce CMG
2012 – present UKMIS Geneva, Ambassador & Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations
2009 – 2012 FCO, Director, South Asia & Afghanistan (UK Special Representative for Afghanistan & Pakistan (SRAP) June 2010-June 2011)
2006 – 2009 UKMIS New York, Deputy Permanent Representative and Ambassador
2003 – 2006 FCO, Balkans Co-ordinator & UK Representative on Contact Group
2000 – 2002 FCO, Head of EU Department, Bilateral & concurrently, after 9/11, Head of Afghanistan Political Military Unit
1999 – 2000 FCO, Head of Newsroom, Press Office
1997 – 1999 FCO, Head of Bosnia Section and then Deputy Head of Eastern Adriatic Department
1996 – 1997 FCO, Team Leader for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova
1992 – 1995 Washington, Private Secretary
1987 – 1991 FCO, Security Policy Department
1984 – 1987 Tokyo, Third Secretary
1983 – 1984 Language Training, SOAS
1982 – 1983 FCO, Aviation, Maritime and Environment Department
1982 Joined FCO

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Published 24 March 2015