Mrs Helen Smith arrived in July 2015 as the British Deputy High Commissioner to New Zealand. Helen has a wide range of diplomatic experience. She comes to New Zealand from five years in London, firstly as Deputy Head of the UK Somalia Unit, and later as Head of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s (FCO’s) Operations Unit, advising the Chief Operating Officer on corporate strategy and leading a range of change and efficiency programmes. Her previous overseas posting was as Head of Communications and Second Secretary Political at the British Embassy in Warsaw from 2007-2010. Prior to that, she worked in the FCO in London on Gibraltar/EU issues and as Private Secretary to the Director General Globalisation and Desk Officer for the Holy See. Helen has a degree in Oriental Studies (Japanese) from Trinity College, Cambridge. She qualified as a Chartered Global Management Accountant in 2014. Helen has one daughter, Charlotte, born in Wellington in 2017.
Deputy Head of Mission to New Zealand
The Deputy Head of Mission is a senior diplomat and typically a key advisor to the Ambassador or High Commissioner. The Deputy is responsible for the daily management of an overseas Embassy or High Commission. They will represent the UK’s interests in the absence of the Ambassador as Chargé d’Affaires. A senior ranking Deputy may also take the title Minister. Smaller missions may not have a Deputy Head.