Sir Richard Stagg


On 15 April 2012, Sir Richard Stagg took up the position of British Ambassador to Afghanistan, replacing Sir William Patey.

Sir Richard Stagg was educated at Winchester College and Oriel College, Oxford where he read history.

On joining the Foreign Office, he worked in the Department responsible for Hong Kong – on his second day the Hong Kong Police mutinied, adding to the challenge of managing Britain’s last major overseas territory.

He then spent three years in Bulgaria under the Communists, and a further three years in the Netherlands at a time when the country was in uproar over the planned deployment of US missiles.

Sir Richard was then seconded to the Secretariat of the European Council to help establish a new organisation designed to coordinate more effectively the foreign policy of the members of the EU. When he left it had 17 staff; it now has many hundreds. He returned to London to work on policy towards the Soviet Union in the three years leading up to its collapse and the liberation of Eastern Europe – the goal of our policy for the previous four decades.

After two years as British Press Spokesman in Brussels during the Maastricht negotiations (which led to a landmark treaty paving the way for the Euro), Sir Richard became Private Secretary to the British Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd.

From 1996–1998 Sir Richard was head of the Foreign Office Department responsible for the Enlargement of the EU – negotiations with 10 candidate countries were started in early 1998 under the UK’s Presidency of the EU.

Sir Richard was appointed British Ambassador to Bulgaria in 1998 and served there for three years during the war over the future of Kosovo.

Between 2001 and 2007 Sir Richard was responsible for the Foreign Office’s global consular, visa and information work; and for the global estate, IT and HR. He sat on the Foreign Office Board from 2002 – 2007.

He was British High Commissioner to India 2007-2011.

Sir Richard is married with five children aged between 14 and 27 (3 boys and 2 girls).

Previous roles in government

  • British Ambassador to Afghanistan