David McFarlane


David has served as Deputy Head of Mission and Consul General in Belgrade since August 2011. He succeeded Ambassador Michael Davenport in July 2013 as Chargé d’Affaires, and will continue in that position until a new Ambassador is in place.

Immediately before taking up his position in Belgrade, David worked as Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary, serving under both David Miliband and William Hague. He led on all aspects of policy related to Europe and Asia.

David joined the Foreign And Commonwealth office in 1999, and has held a number of positions, in London and overseas, with a particular focus on the EU and Asia.

David worked as the lead desk on the Nice Intergovernmental Conference in 1999, an early attempt to ensure the EU was ready for further enlargement. He was called back to a similar role in 2008 as Bill Team Manager, charting the passage of the Lisbon Treaty through Parliament.

David worked in Beijing from 2002 to 2006, firstly as Second Secretary (Political), with responsibility for external Affairs (2002), then as First Secretary (Political) responsible for bilateral relations (2003-2006).

Following his posting to China, David went to Brussels. He worked briefly in the UK’s Permanent Delegation to the EU, and thereafter (2006-2007) went on secondment to the European Commission. David worked in DG Relex as a Seconded National Expert, leading on China policy.

David has also led a large cross departmental team in UKvisas (2007-2008) as Operational Policy Programme manager.

David speaks fluent Serbian, Mandarin and French. He is married with two young children.

Previous roles in government

  1. Ambassador to Serbia

    • 2013 to 2014