Simon Smith has been British Ambassador to the Republic of Korea since March 2018. He first visited North and South Korea in 2002-4 when he was Head of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s NE Asia & Pacific Department.
He has served as British Ambassador to Ukraine and to Austria – where he was also the UK’s Permanent Representative to UN and international organisations in Vienna, and the UK Governor on the Board of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
He began his career in the Diplomatic Service in 1986, and has also worked – largely on economic, trade and investment issues – at the British Embassies in Tokyo and Moscow. Simon is from Bristol, and studied German and French at Oxford University.
He spent 6 months in Seoul continuing his study of Korean in 2017. In addition to these languages he speaks Russian, Ukrainian and Japanese. His wife, Sian Stickings, a lawyer by training, is also a keen linguist and a student of Korean. They have two daughters who live and work in the UK.
British Ambassador to the Republic of Korea
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 Ambassador to Ukraine
- 2012 to 2015