Director General, Economic and Consular (Acting)

Tim Hitchens

Biography

Tim is the acting Director General, Economic and Consular.

Previous experience

  • 2012 - 2016: Ambassador to Japan
  • 2010 - 2012: Director Africa, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). Responsibility for Britain’s relations with the continent of Africa.Member of the Foreign Office Board 2012
  • 2008 - 2010: Director, European Political Affairs, FCO. Responsibility for 41 posts across Europe, from Lisbon to Kyiv to Ankara. Policy responsibility for non-EU matters.
  • 2005 - 2008: Minister, British Embassy, Paris.
  • 2003 - 2005: Head, Africa Department (Equatorial), FCO. Overseeing countries in west, central and east Africa
  • 2002 - 2003: Head, Consular Crisis Team
  • 1998 - 2002: Deputy Private Secretary to The Queen, Buckingham Palace. Responsible for full range of tasks in 3 person Private Office: managing republican debate in Australia; role of monarchy with new Scottish parliament; conception and execution of Golden Jubilee programme in 2002.
  • 1997 - 1998: Deputy Head, South East Asia Dept. South East Asian Financial Crisis
  • 1995 - 1997: Head, Political Team, Islamabad. Reporting and lobbying on: Pakistan nuclear and missile programme; Kashmir dispute ; and coverage of Afghan issues (no Embassy in Kabul)
  • 1994 - 1995: Speechwriter to Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd. Also planning staff member for Asian issues.
  • 1991 - 1995: Private Secretary to Europe Minister. Negotiation of Maastricht Treaty, then passage of Maastricht Bill; UK Presidency of EU in 1992.
  • 1989 - 1991: HM Treasury Officer, Europe Department (Internal)
  • 1985 - 1989: Second Secretary, Tokyo; economic team, interpreter.
  • Joined FCO in 1983

Scholar at Christ’s College Cambridge, graduating in 1983 with 2:1 in English Literature.

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Other Information

  • Born 1962; diplomat since 1983
  • Fluent French and Japanese
  • Experience in negotiation, running Private Offices, media work, and running a large mission and networks (250 people in France, 4000 in Europe)
  • Married, two children at university (19 and 21)

Director General, Economic and Consular (Acting)

Board members give corporate leadership to the FCO by ensuring that the department meets the foreign policy priorities, Public Service Agreements targets and service delivery targets set by ministers. The Director General, Economic and Consular has the following areas of responsibility:

  • Europe
  • prosperity
  • Asia Pacific
  • consular services
  • migration

Previous roles in government

  1. British Ambassador to Japan

    • 2012 to 2016