Sir Simon Fraser was appointed Permanent Under-Secretary, the senior policy advisor to the Foreign Secretary, in August 2010. He is also Head of the Diplomatic Service. On 1 March 2014, Sir Simon became the Civil Service Diversity Champion.
Sir Simon started his career as a Middle East expert, serving in the British embassies in Baghdad and Damascus, and as Private Secretary to Minister of State William Waldegrave. He has since specialised in Europe, international economic policy and the Middle East, with posts including:
- Deputy Chief of Staff to Leon Brittan when he was Trade Commissioner, 1993 to 1999
- positions in the FCO including Director for Strategy and Innovation and Political Counsellor in the British Embassy in Paris
- Chief of Staff to European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson up to 2008
- Director General for Europe and Globalisation in the FCO up to to 2009
- Permanent Secretary in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in London until his current appointment in 2010
Permanent Under Secretary and Head of the Diplomatic Service
The Permanent Under Secretary is responsible for advising the Foreign Secretary and the ministerial team on foreign policy, and for managing the FCO. He chairs the FCO Board and is also Head of the Diplomatic Service.