Director General: America, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Middle East, Overseas Territories and India

Vijay Rangarajan

Biography

Vijay Rangarajan is Director General, working on the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, US, Canada, the Overseas Territories and India. He also leads the FCDO’s work on energy, climate and the environment, and is Tom Drew’s alternate on Russia/Ukraine. Vijay was Director General, Americas and Overseas Territories from September 2020 to March 2022.

Vijay was previously British Ambassador to Brazil from May 2017 to August 2020. Prior to that, he was Europe Director, responsible for work on the UK EU referendum, associated negotiations, and wider EU policy such as on energy, social security and foreign policy.

Before that, he worked in the Ministry of Justice and Cabinet Office on political and constitutional reform of the UK – running elections, Parliament and the development of devolution in the UK. This involved establishing the UK Supreme Court and Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, and the reform of electoral registration. He then set up the FCO’s Multilateral Policy Directorate, responsible for the UN, Council of Europe, Commonwealth, OSCE, and work on international human rights and conflict issues, and negotiated major changes to the European Convention on Human Rights.

Earlier, he worked in the UK Representation in Brussels on trade policy and political affairs, later leading the Justice and Home Affairs section, covering immigration, asylum, data-sharing, counter-terrorism, civil and criminal law. Vijay was Deputy Ambassador at the British Embassy in Mexico from 2003 to 2006.

Vijay’s academic background is scientific: a natural sciences degree, Masters in maths, and astrophysics PhD at Selwyn College, Cambridge. His interests are singing, cooking, cycling, flying kites, windsurfing and science fiction.

Director General: America, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Middle East, Overseas Territories and India

The Director General is responsible for the delivery of UK policy on the geographical areas of:

  • US and Canada
  • Afghanistan
  • Pakistan
  • Middle East
  • Overseas Territories
  • India

The Director General is also the FCDO lead for global themes and programmes on energy, climate and the environment.

As a board member, the Director General also gives corporate leadership to the FCDO by ensuring that the department meets the international policy priorities, Public Service Agreements targets and service delivery targets set by ministers.

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Previous roles in government

  • Director General, Americas and Overseas Territories
  • Acting British Ambassador to Brazil