Director General, Defence and Intelligence (Acting)

Jonathan Allen


Jonathan Allen is the Acting Director General, Defence and Intelligence at the Foreign Office. He took up this role in November 2016.

Jonathan joined the FCO in 1997 and began his career in Europe Directorate working on EU issues. He was subsequently posted to Cyprus and Brussels, where he was government spokesman during the UK Presidency in 2005.

In 2006, Jonathan was seconded to the Home Office as Assistant Director in the Home Office’s International Directorate. In 2007 he moved to the Office for Security and Counter-terrorism (OSCT), where he established and led the Research Information and Communications Unit (RICU), a cross-departmental strategic communications body.

Jonathan returned to the FCO as Deputy Africa Director before becoming Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Bulgaria from 2012 to 2015. On return from Bulgaria Jonathan took up the post of Director, National Security at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Director General, Defence and Intelligence (Acting)

Board members give corporate leadership to the FCO by ensuring that the department meets the foreign policy priorities, Public Service Agreements targets and service delivery targets set by ministers. The Director General, Defence and Intelligence has the following areas of responsibility and regions:

  • national security
  • cyber
  • defence and international security
  • overseas territories
  • Americas

Previous roles in government

  1. British Ambassador to Bulgaria

    • 2012 to 2015


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  1. British Ambassador to Bulgaria on foreign policy in a less stable neighbourhood

    • Speech
  2. A Message of renewal and reform

    • Speech
  3. British Ambassador Jonathan Allen: “Should I be an Optimist or a Pessimist for Bulgaria?"

    • Speech