Director of Overseas Territories and Commissioner, British Antarctic Territory

John Kittmer


John was appointed Director of Overseas Territories at the FCO in December 2016. In that role, he holds office as Commissioner of the British Antarctic Territory and Commissioner of the British Indian Ocean Territory. He has a broad range of experience across government having worked previously in the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Cabinet Office, the Department for Education & Employment (DfEE), as well as the Foreign Office (FCO).

  • Dec 2016 - present: Director of Overseas Territories
  • Jan 2013 - Dec 2016: Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Hellenic Republic
  • September – December 2012: Pre-tour training and briefing, FCO
  • Jan 2011 – August 2012: DEFRA, Deputy Director, Inland Waterways & EU Strategy Support
  • Sept 2008 – Sept 2010: DEFRA, Principal Private Secretary to the Secretary of State
  • Jan 2008 – Aug 2008: DEFRA, Deputy Director, Exotic Animal Diseases
  • Feb 2006 – May 2007: Cabinet Office, Better Regulation Executive, Deputy Director, EU & International
  • Dec 2004 – Jan 2006: DEFRA, Team Leader, Animal Welfare Bill
  • Oct 2003 – Dec 2004: FCO, Conflict Group, Section Head, Peacekeeping & International Policing
  • Jan 2003 – Oct 2003:FCO, EU Directorate, Section Head, EU Accession Treaty & Bill
  • Nov 1998 – Dec 2002: UK Permanent Representation to the EU, First Secretary, Employment & Social Policy
  • May 1997 – Oct 1998: DfEE, EU Division, Team Leader, Social Policy
  • Dec 1995 – May 1997: DfEE, Private Secretary to the Parliamentary Undersecretary of State
  • October 1993-November 1995: DfEE, ‘Fast stream’ trainee

Director of Overseas Territories

The Director is responsible for UK policy towards its overseas territories, with a particular focus on good governance and the rule of law, economic sustainability and international relations.

Commissioner, British Antarctic Territory

Administering the British Antarctic Territory, appointing such officers as the Senior Magistrate and Coroner as required and the power to make laws, subject to certain conditions.

Legislation enacted by the Territory is in line with, and implements, international regulations under the Antarctic Treaty System (ie the Antarctic Treaty and its Environmental Protocol, and the Convention on Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources), as well as other relevant international instruments.

Previous roles in government

  1. British Ambassador to Greece

    • 2013 to 2016


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  1. Commemoration of the Battle of Navarino

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  2. Her Majesty the Queen's 90th Birthday

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