Ambassador and Permanent Representative, UK Mission to the UN New York

Matthew Rycroft


Matthew Rycroft CBE becomes the British Permanent Representative to the United Nations on 25 April 2015.

From March 2011, Matthew was the FCO’s Chief Operating Officer. In that role he oversaw the running of the FCO and its network of 270 posts around the world, including all the Human Resources, Finance, Estates, Security, Information Technology, Protocol, Procurement and Corporate Services. He deputised for the Permanent Under Secretary in his absence.

Matthew was born on 16 June 1968, and brought up in Southampton and Cambridge. He has a degree in maths and philosophy from Merton College, Oxford.

Matthew joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1989. After a few months at the UN in Geneva and then on the NATO desk in London, he spent four years in the British Embassy in Paris.

In 1995-96 Matthew was head of the political section of Eastern Adriatic Department in the FCO. In this role he was a member of the British delegation to the Dayton peace talks on Bosnia.

After two years in the FCO’s Policy Planning Staff covering European and trans-Atlantic issues and brief secondments to the US State Department and US Congress, Matthew joined the British Embassy in Washington, following US domestic politics from 1998 to 2002.

From 2002 to 2004, Matthew was Private Secretary to the Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs, covering all foreign, European, Northern Ireland and defence issues in No10. He received a CBE for this work.

He was British Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2005 and the FCO Europe Director from 2008.

Matthew is married to Alison. They have three daughters, born in 1998, 2000 and 2005. Matthew speaks French and Bosnian, plays the double bass, and enjoys soccer and other sports.

Ambassador and Permanent Representative, UK Mission to the UN New York

The Ambassador’s role is to represent the UK within an international organisation, engaging with every other country or organisation that belongs to or observes the body. The Ambassador is also responsible for the direction and work of the Mission. Ambassadors to multilateral missions are often referred to as ‘Permanent Representatives’.

Previous roles in government

  1. Chief Operating Officer

    • 2011 to 2014


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  1. "We remain committed to partnering with Nigeria and its neighbours to degrade and defeat Boko Haram"

    • Speech
  2. Until the regime sees that diplomacy, not duplicity is the way forward, we must use all of our diplomatic tools to bring pressure to bear on Pyongyang

    • Speech
  3. UN Security Council emergency debate on North Korea: Matthew Rycroft's speech

    • Speech
  4. "Women have spent too long enduring and surviving these crises; it’s long past time for them to play their fullest part in solving them."

    • Speech
  5. In a world where North Korean missile tests seem routine, let me be clear: this is not business as usual.

    • Speech
  6. "All Member States must recognise and respect that there can be no ifs, no buts: sanctions agreed in this Council are legally binding"

    • Speech
  7. "The Arms Trade Treaty will remain central to the United Kingdom’s approach to preventing irresponsible trafficking in arms"

    • Speech
  8. "After generations of hostility, blood & tears & in the wake of years of pain and wars, we are determined to bring an end to the bloodshed & sorrow"

    • Speech
  9. "Make no mistake, this is a crisis of human creation; a crisis that South Sudan’s leaders have had six years to prevent."

    • Speech
  10. "We must all work together – the United Nations, this Council, the countries and organisations of Africa - to address the root causes of conflict."

    • Speech