Steve Townsend joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1980. His first posting was in Caracas, Venezuela, and he was then sent to Kinshasa, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo). After a spell in London in Policy Planning Staff, he was posted to Madrid as the Vice-Consul.
After Spain, he spent four years in London, and was then posted to Cairo where he worked on commercial matters. This was followed by three years as Deputy Head of Mission in La Paz, Bolivia. After a stint in London working in Communications Directorate, he arrived in Rome in January 2013 to take up his position as Deputy Head of Mission in the British Embassy to the Holy See.
Deputy Head of Mission, British Embassy to the Holy See
The Deputy Head of Mission is a senior diplomat and typically a key advisor to the Ambassador or High Commissioner. The Deputy is responsible for the daily management of an overseas Embassy or High Commission. They will represent the UK’s interests in the absence of the Ambassador as Chargé d’Affaires. A senior ranking Deputy may also take the title Minister. Smaller missions may not have a Deputy Head.