Minister of State for Europe and the Americas at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office

The Rt Hon Sir Alan Duncan KCMG MP


Sir Alan Duncan was appointed Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 17 July 2016. He was elected Conservative MP for Rutland and Melton since 1992.


Alan attended Beechwood Park School in Hertfordshire and Merchant Taylors’ School before going on to study politics and economics at St John’s College, Oxford from 1976 to 1979, where he was elected President of the Oxford Union.

He then went on to win a Kennedy Scholarship at Harvard University, where he studied from 1981 to 1982.

Political career

He previously served as Minister of State for International Development from 2010 to 2014. He held a number of roles in the Shadow Cabinet before being appointed to his International Development position.

His roles have included:

  • Shadow Health Minister
  • Shadow Minister for Trade and Industry
  • Shadow Foreign Minister
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs
  • Shadow Secretary for International Development
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
  • Shadow Leader of the House of Commons
  • Shadow Minster for Prisons and Probation

Career outside politics

After graduating from Oxford, Alan worked with Shell International between 1979 and 1981, and then as an oil trader for Marc Rich and Co from 1982 to 1988.

Between 1988 and 1992, he was an independent consultant and adviser to foreign governments, specialising in oil supplies, shipping and refining.

In 1989, he set up the independent Harcourt Consultants to advise on oil and gas matters, and has specialised in The Middle East for 30 years.

Minister of State for Europe and the Americas at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Responsibilities include:

  • the Americas (including Cuba)
  • Europe (including all parts of the former Soviet Union and Turkey)
  • NATO and European security
  • defence and international security
  • the Falklands
  • polar regions
  • migration
  • protocol
  • human resources
  • OSCE and Council of Europe
  • relations with Parliament
  • Foreign & Commonwealth Office finance
  • information and technology
  • Diplomatic Academy

Previous roles in government

  1. The government’s Special Envoy to Yemen

    • 2014 to 2016
  2. Minister of State for International Development

    • 2010 to 2014


  1. Minister for Europe calls for investigation into persecution of LGBT community in Chechnya
  2. Sir Alan Duncan statement on Guatemala and the CICIG
  3. Minister for Europe welcomes the results of Armenia’s parliamentary elections.
  4. FCO Minister for the Americas Sir Alan Duncan announces £5 million of UK support for Colombia's peace process.
  5. UK and Argentina agree new flight linking the Falklands and South America
  6. Review of chemical weapons: UK statement to Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons conference
  7. UK & Montenegro celebrate 140 years of diplomatic relations
  8. Minister for Europe opens the fifth Wardrop Strategic Dialogue in Georgia
  9. Minister for Europe visits Istanbul for Turkish Republic Day
  10. Minister for Europe to champion UK-Spain ties at annual talks