Paul Madden became British Ambassador to Japan in January 2017. He was previously British High Commissioner to Australia (2011-15) and British High Commissioner to Singapore (2007-11). He was Additional Director for Asia Pacific at the FCO in 2015.
A career diplomat, he was Managing Director at UK Trade and Investment (2004-2006), responsible for coordinating and implementing international trade development strategies to support companies across a wide range of business sectors.
As Assistant Director of Information at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (2003-2004) he was responsible for public diplomacy policy, including managing the FCO funding of the BBC World Service, the British Council and the Chevening Scholarships programme. He led the team responsible for the award-winning UK pavilion at the Aichi Expo in Japan 2005.
He was Deputy High Commissioner in Singapore from 2000-2003 and has also served in Washington (1996-2000). Between 1992-96 he worked on EU enlargement and Environmental issues at the FCO in London. His first posting in Tokyo was as First Secretary Economic (1988-92).
Before joining FCO he worked at the Department of Trade and Industry (1980-87) on a range of industrial sectors and trade policy, and was head of the Japan team. He spent 2 years as a minister’s Private Secretary.
He has an MA in Economic Geography from Cambridge University, an MBA from Durham University, studied Japanese at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies, and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. His book, Raffles: Lessons in Business Leadership, was published in 2003, and his first play was performed in Sydney in 2015. He first visited Japan on a study tour in 1982, after winning an essay contest organised by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Married to Sarah, with 3 adult children, he was born in Devon.
British Ambassador to Japan
The Ambassador represents Her Majesty The Queen and the UK government in the country to which they are appointed. They are responsible for the direction and work of the Embassy and its Consulates, including political work, trade and investment, press and cultural relations, and visa and consular services.
Previous roles in government
British High Commissioner to Australia
- 2011 to 2015