Chief Operating Officer

Karen Pierce CMG

Biography

Karen Pierce became Chief Operating Officer, Foreign & Commonwealth Office in February 2016.

Career History

  • 2015-2016: Ambassador to Afghanistan
  • 2012-2015: Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UK Mission to the UN and Other International Organisations, Geneva
  • 2009 – 2012: FCO, Director, South Asia and Afghanistan (UK Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (June 2010-June 2011)
  • 2006 – 2009: UK Mission to the UN (New York), Deputy Permanent Representative and Ambassador
  • 2003 – 2006: FCO, Balkans Co-ordinator & UK Representative on Contact Group
  • 2000 – 2001: FCO, Head of EU Department, Bilateral and concurrently after 9/11 FCO, Head of Afghanistan Political Military Unit
  • 1999 – 2000: FCO, Head of Newsroom
  • 1997 – 1999: FCO, Eastern Adriatic (Balkans) Department, later Deputy Head of Department
  • 1996 – 1997: FCO, Team Leader for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova
  • 1992 – 1995: Washington, Private Secretary
  • 1987 – 1991: FCO, Security Policy Department
  • 1984 – 1987: Tokyo, Third Secretary, following Japanese language training
  • 1981: Joined FCO

Karen is married and has two children.

Chief Operating Officer

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 Chief Operating Officer is responsible for the running of the FCO as an organisation and has the following areas of responsibility

  • human resources
  • finance
  • estates
  • security
  • IT
  • corporate services
  • protocol

Previous roles in government

  1. British Ambassador to Afghanistan

    • 2015 to 2016
  2. Ambassador and Permanent Representative, UK Mission to the UN and Other International Organisations, Geneva

    • 2012 to 2015

Announcements

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  1. The UK in support of the 2013 Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan launched in Geneva

    • Speech