Press release

UK Ambassador to Afghanistan appointed as next NATO Senior Civilian Representative

Sir Nicholas Kay KCMG has been appointed as NATO’s next Senior Civilian Representative (SCR) in Afghanistan.


The Senior Civilian Representative acts as the primary link between the Afghan Government and NATO, and helps to ensure the success of the NATO Resolute Support mission which provides training, advice and assistance to Afghanistan’s security and police forces.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced the appointment at a NATO Foreign Ministers meeting on 5 December 2018. Sir Nicholas will take up his appointment in March 2019.

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

Sir Nicholas Kay will bring a wealth of experience on the political developments in Afghanistan in his new role as NATO’s Special Civilian Representative and I would like to thank him for his tireless work as the British Ambassador to Afghanistan.

Despite the violence, we have seen tentative steps towards a peace process beginning to emerge and the UK, along with our international partners, stands firmly with the Afghan government to support their efforts to build peace.

Sir Nicholas Kay said:

It is a great honour to be entrusted by Secretary General Stoltenberg to be NATO’s SCR in Afghanistan. I pay tribute to the remarkable work of Ambassador Zimmermann, the outgoing SCR. My top priority will be to lead NATO’s political and diplomatic efforts to bring an end to the conflict in Afghanistan. I shall work closely with the Government of Afghanistan and the international community to make 2019 a year of progress towards sustainable peace in Afghanistan.

The NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan carries forward the Alliance’s political-military objectives in Afghanistan, representing the political leadership of the Alliance in Kabul officially and publicly. He liaises with the Afghan Government, civil society, representatives of the international community and neighbouring countries.

Sir Nicholas’ appointment as NATO Senior Civilian Representative (SCR) in Afghanistan makes him the third British SCR after Sir Mark Sedwill and Sir Simon Gass in a demonstration of the UK’s commitment to Afghanistan.

Sir Nicholas took up his appointment as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in August 2017 and will complete his mission in December. Deputy Head of Mission Giles Lever will be Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.

Notes to Editors:

For further information, please contact the NATO Press Office on +32 2 707 5041

Published 5 December 2018