Permanent Under Secretary and Head of the Diplomatic Service

Sir Simon McDonald KCMG KCVO

Biography

Sir Simon McDonald is the Permanent Under Secretary and Head of the Diplomatic Service at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Sir Simon joined the British Diplomatic Service in 1982 and has served in Berlin, Jeddah, Riyadh, Bonn, Washington and Tel Aviv, and in a wide range of jobs in London.

Before taking up the role of PUS, Sir Simon served as the British Ambassador to Berlin from 2010 to 2015, the Prime Minister’s Foreign Policy Adviser and Head of Foreign and Defence Policy in the Cabinet Office from 2007 to 2010. From 2003 to 2006 he was British Ambassador to Israel.

He was appointed Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George in 2014.

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.

Previous roles in government

  1. British Ambassador to Germany

    • 2010 to 2015