Deputy Head of Mission to the USA

Patrick Davies OBE

Patrick Davies OBE



Patrick Davies took up his post as Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Washington and UK Permanent Observer at the Organization of American States in September 2013. A career diplomat, Patrick has worked in various environments around the world, often in times of crisis or transition. He has played a pivotal role in British policy-making around the Arab Spring, Iran and its nuclear programme and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In recognition of his outstanding record of service, in 2012 Her Majesty The Queen awarded him the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

Patrick joined the Foreign Office in 1993, initially serving as a policy officer covering Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. His first overseas posting was to the British Embassy in Rabat, Morocco, where he provided the British government with analysis and reporting on that country’s political situation and its struggles against drug trafficking and violent Islamism. He was the FCO lead on the long-running conflict in Western Sahara and worked closely with his American counterparts in an effort to resolve the situation.

From 2000-2003, he served as Private Secretary to two successive Foreign Secretaries, Robin Cook and Jack Straw. During a tumultuous period that included the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent start of hostilities in Afghanistan, his portfolio covered counter-terrorism and Afghanistan policy. He also provided support and advice about counter-proliferation, the UN, NATO, Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Balkans, human rights, drugs and crime and consular and visa issues.

In 2003, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Patrick was appointed as the Head of the Political-Military Section of the Foreign Office’s Iraq Emergency Unit. In this capacity he served as the chief liaison between the Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence on all aspects of the military campaign.

Following the end of initial hostilities in Iraq, in 2004 Patrick became Deputy Head of Mission in Warsaw, arriving the same year Poland joined the European Union. During this important transition period, he was responsible for the day-to-day management of the Embassy and the UK’s public diplomacy efforts in Poland. He also oversaw the construction of a new Embassy and the process of moving into the new building.

In 2009, he became Deputy Head of Mission in Tehran, serving at a time of heightened tension surrounding the June 2009 Iranian presidential elections. He was the Embassy’s lead crisis manager and contingency planner in the aftermath of those elections, when the regime was accusing the UK of conspiring with the opposition Green Movement and seeking to disrupt Embassy activities. He was also responsible for developing UK policy on Iran’s nuclear programme and human rights.

Following his posting in Iran, Patrick returned to London to serve from 2010 as Head of the Foreign Office’s Near East and North Africa Department, where he was responsible for crisis planning and response during the Arab Spring, and for the UK’s policy on the conflict in Syria and the Middle East Peace Process. He also led on coordination between the FCO and other government departments, especially the Ministry of Defence, Cabinet Office and Department for International Development. He worked closely with his American counterparts at the State Department, NSC, US Treasury and other departments.

Born in 1968, Patrick graduated from the University of Bath in 1991 with a First Class BSc in Business Administration. He speaks French and Polish, and in his spare time enjoys tennis, singing, hiking, camping and skiing.

Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PaddyJDavies

Deputy Head of Mission to the USA

The Deputy Head of Mission is a senior diplomat and typically a key advisor to the Ambassador or High Commissioner. The Deputy is responsible for the daily management of an overseas Embassy or High Commission. They will represent the UK’s interests in the absence of the Ambassador as Chargé d’Affaires. A senior ranking Deputy may also take the title Minister. Smaller missions may not have a Deputy Head.