Migration and Modern Slavery Envoy

Jennifer Townson


Jennifer was appointed as the government’s Migration and Modern Slavery Envoy on 18 October 2019.

Jennifer joined the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1989. From July 2013 until January 2017 Jennifer was the Deputy Head of Mission, Consul General and Director of Trade and Investment at the British Embassy Vienna. She has previously served overseas in the British High Commission, Mauritius and in the political section of the British Embassy, Paris.

In London Jennifer has worked as Deputy Head of Department in the FCO Human Resources Directorate. She has also served as the Assistant Private Secretary to the FCO Minister responsible for Trade and Investment, and the Foreign Affairs Spokesperson in the House of Lords. She worked extensively on Africa policy, including as Deputy Head of Department for East, West and Southern Africa, and on Pan-Africa policy, leading multilateral negotiations on peace and security commitments under the UK’s 2005 G8 and EU Presidencies. She has spent time seconded outside the Foreign Office to an independent political, trade and arts institute focussing on UK links with Asia.

Migration and Modern Slavery Envoy

The Migration and Modern Slavery Envoy works with government ministers, the UK’s National Security Adviser and senior officials in the Home Office and other relevant government departments to:

  • engage with international partners on the government’s migration policy
  • advocate for tackling modern slavery globally, help to develop partnerships with other nations to combat modern slavery and trafficking, and engage with multilateral processes building international consensus and establishing practical co-operation

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Previous roles in government

  • Deputy Head of Mission, Austria