Director, National Security

Simon Shercliff OBE


Simon Shercliff was appointed as Director for National Security at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) in February 2018. Prevously he was Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of Yemen in from February 2017 until February 2018.

After graduating from Cambridge University in 1995, Simon worked for 2 years as a volunteer Chemistry teacher in a Government School in Tanzania. He then returned to the UK to join the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1998.

His first posting was as a political officer in the British Embassy, Tehran, for 3 years from 2000. On leaving Iran in 2003, he spent a short period in FCO in London before deploying to Baghdad as the Private Secretary to Sir Jeremy Greenstock, the Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Iraq. He was awarded the OBE for his work.

He returned to London in 2004 to the FCO Press Office, as a spokesman for Iran and Iraq issues. After a year, he became the Chief Press Officer, then the Foreign Secretary’s Press Secretary. He arrived in Washington to work on counter proliferation issues in 2006. He then deployed to the British Embassy, Kabul, between November 2007 and February 2008.

He then returned to Washington, working on Afghanistan, until 2010. He returned to the FCO in early 2011 as the Deputy Head of the South Asia Department. In 2012 he was promoted to be the Head of the FCO’s Counter Terrorism Department. From February 2014 until December 2016 he was the Deputy High Commissioner in Abuja.

Simon is married to Emma, and has 2 young children. His interests are sport and the great outdoors.

Director, National Security

The Director for National Security oversees the Foreign & Commonwealth Office departments responsible for counter terrorism, cyber security policy and intelligence policy, and advises the Foreign Secretary on these issues.

Previous roles in government

  1. British Ambassador to Yemen

    • 2017 to 2018
  2. British Deputy High Commissioner Abuja

    • 2014 to 2016


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