Deputy Head of Mission, British High Commission Ottawa

Jan Thompson OBE


Joined the FCO in 1990 after two years spent working for the BBC.

Jan was previously appointed British Ambassador to the Czech Republic. Previous postings have included Germany (1992-1994) and the UN Security Council in New York (1997-2000). Jan also led work on the Balkan wars (1994-1997) and headed the UK department on Afghanistan (2002-2005). After the Asian tsunami she flew to Thailand to establish a temporary British office to help the victims. Before her current appointment she was the UK’s Lead Climate Change Negotiator, with a short break in 2011 when she headed the UK department in the Libya conflict.

Jan is single, likes mountaineering (she has climbed Kilimanjaro and to Everest Base Camp), theater (she also acts herself), and is an avid sports fan. Fluent in French and German, she is now intensively learning Czech.

Jan Thompson on Twitter

Deputy Head of Mission, British High Commission Ottawa

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.

Previous roles in government

  1. British Ambassador to the Czech Republic

    • 2013 to 2017