British High Commissioner to South Africa

Dame Judith Macgregor DCMG, LVO


Dame Judith Macgregor has been British High Commissioner in South Africa since September 2013.

After graduating from Oxford (LMH) with a first class degree in Modern History, and a year in Romania as a British Council scholar, she entered the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, serving in former Yugoslavia, and later as First Secretary in Prague and Paris. In her early years in the FCO, she held various posts dealing with Poland, Western Europe, and as the Secretary of State’s speechwriter.

After accompanying her husband while he was Director General for Trade Promotion in Germany and Ambassador to Poland, she resumed her career as FCO Director for Security Policy in 2000, and then as Ambassador to Slovakia (2004-6). She was appointed FCO Director for Migration in 2007, and then Ambassador to Mexico in 2009, for which she was awarded the CMG.

Dame Judith has been President of the FCO Women’s Association since 2006, overseeing a significant increase in the number of FCO women in the senior grades. She has also been the overseas representative on the Whitehall ministerial Newton Committee guiding the funding of Science and Research funding with Emerging Powers

Since 2012, she has been a member of the Advisory Group to the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UCL.

Her husband John concluded his diplomatic career as Ambassador to Austria and UK Governor of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to become Dean of the University of Kent at Brussels. During his wife’s appointment to Mexico he was Visiting Professor of International Relations at the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico, and now teaches and mentors at his old Institute in Brussels and at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna.

Dame Judith’s interests include reading, walking, and gardening. She and Mr Macgregor have a daughter and three sons.

British High Commissioner to South Africa

The High Commissioner is the UK government’s representative in a Commonwealth nation. They are responsible for the direction and work of the High Commission and its Deputy High Commissions and/or Consulates, including political work, trade and investment, press and cultural relations, and visa and consular services.

Previous roles in government

  1. British Ambassador to Mexico

    • 2009 to 2013


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  1. High Commissioner Judith Macgregor speaks at AMR conference in South Africa

    • Speech
  2. British High Commissioner to South Africa's speech at Africa Renaissance 2016

    • Speech
  3. High Commissioner Judith Macgregor receives the Youth Communique

    • Speech
  4. Model UN debate on preventing sexual violence in conflict

    • Speech
  5. South Africa launches its carbon calculator

    • Speech
  6. High Commissioner presents her credentials in Lesotho

    • Speech
  7. High Commissioner to South Africa spoke at SAIIA G20 conference on trade, tax and transparency

    • Speech