UK in USA is a blog about the work of the British Embassy in Washington and our Consulates throughout the United States. Our bloggers come from various backgrounds.
Andrew Millar has been the British Consul General in Houston, Texas since August 2011. He joined the UK Civil Service in 1994 working as a regulatory economist within the Office of Gas Supply and joined the FCO in 1996, as regional economist for the Americas and Caribbean. In 1998, was promoted to cover the Asia regional economy portfolio. Andrew was posted as First Secretary to Pretoria (2000-05). On return to London, he took over as Team-Leader for Energy Security in the Climate Change and Energy Group within the FCO. He also served as UK representative on the non-member country committee in the International Energy Agency and was a member of the G8 Energy Experts Group in the run up to the St Petersburg Summit. He moved into Human Resources in 2007, as Team Leader – Training and Development, before being pulled back into energy security. He was appointed lead within the FCO on preparations for the London Energy Meeting in December 2008. Andrew started work in the Health Physics department at Torness Nuclear Power Station in 1983. He left in 1990 and obtained a Degree and Master in Economics from the University of East Anglia. Andrew is married with two children.
Follow Andrew on Twitter — @AndrewMillarFCO
Kevin McGurgan took up his appointment as Consul General in Miami in December 2009. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1971, Kevin joined the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1990. He came to Florida from southern Afghanistan where he spent 2008/9 as Deputy Head of the NATO Provincial Reconstruction Team in Helmand province. He worked there with Afghan political and tribal leaders to improve security and prepare the ground for the arrival of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade of the US Marine Corps in spring 2009. He was made an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) for this work in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours. This is Kevin’s second posting to the United States. From 1997 – 2000, he worked at the United Nations in New York on multilateral sanctions regimes, negotiating and implementing sanctions regimes in the Middle East, Asia and diamond and arms embargoes in Africa (Sierra Leone and Angola). Kevin’s earlier diplomatic career has seen him serve short tours in Russia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Syria (1993-4); as a press officer in the UK’s Permanent Representation to the European Union (1994-5); as a political and consular officer in Bosnia (1996-7) and from 2003-2005 as Head of the Political and Economic team in Sweden with a specific focus on European policy issues and counter-terrorism. Between 2005 and 2008 he was Deputy Head of the Iraq Policy Unit in the Foreign Office before being seconded to the Home Office to work on organised crime, counter terrorism and migration issues. In London he has also worked on Afghanistan, the Balkans and arms export policy. Kevin is accompanied by his wife Vicki (also from Scotland), and his two sons, Alexander and Michael.
Follow Kevin on Twitter — @KevMcGurganFCO
Stephen Bridges took up his posting as Consul General in Chicago in August 2013. He has been a diplomat since 1980, and has held substantial appointments throughout Asia, including as British Ambassador to Cambodia (2001 to 2004) and Deputy High Commissioner, Consul General and Trade & Investment Director in Bangladesh (2005 to 2007). More recently, he had a four year stint in the private sector in the renewable energy and natural resources sectors. Stephen is joined in Chicago by his wife Kim and their two dogs, Montague and Coco. He is a keen supporter of Plymouth Argyle Football Club.
James Kariuki has been Counsellor and Head of Politics, Economics and Communication Group since July 2012. This is his second tour in the United States, having served at the UK Mission to the UN in New York from 2002 to 2007. Between these postings James held a series senior roles in London: Head of Policy Planning for Foreign Secretary David Miliband (2007/08); Deputy Director in Gordon Brown’s National Economic Council (2008/09); Deputy Director for Europe in the FCO (2010/11).
After graduating from Jesus College, Cambridge, in 1992, James began his career on Middle East affairs: first on the Iran desk and then on secondment to the UN weapons inspection team in Baghdad (UNSCOM). He was then posted to the British Embassy Caracas, where he became the first Western diplomat to engage Hugo Chavez as a Presidential candidate. A spell in London from 1998-2002 covered mostly multilateral and economic issues: first as head of the G8 Summit team under Tony Blair; then as head of the FCO team focusing on EU economic policy.
James is married to Pascale Puthod, a journalist, and they have a 4 year old son, Paul.
James Barbour is the Press Secretary and Head of Communications at the British Embassy in Washington. He joined the FCO in 1997, having studied Politics at the University of Edinburgh. Roughly half of his career has been spent in London, in a range of jobs covering the OSCE and the Balkans, corporate social responsibility and corporate governance, press work and public relations. From 2000 to 2004 James was posted to the British High Commission in Cape Town, and more recently spent 2007 to 2011 in Moscow. In Washington James is responsible for managing and portraying the Embassy’s – and the British Government’s – public presence in the United States, engaging in debates in the US media environment on policy issues of importance to the UK, and contributing presentational perspectives to the Embassy’s policy discussions. James is keen to help the FCO make the most of social media; this is his third blog, and he often dabbles with Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter. James is joined in Washington by his wife Carrie and their two children.
Eric was appointed HM Consul General and Counsellor for Corporate Services in April 2012. He has been a Civil Servant for ten years. Prior to arriving in Washington, Eric was Chief Operating Officer at 10 Downing Street, during which time he was responsible for the complete refurbishment of the grade 1 list building and living accommodation. Eric has held a number of diverse roles, including: Infrastructure Director at the Cabinet Office, international CIO for a US based multinational, and Head of Business Systems for a UK City Regulatory Organisation. Eric is a both a Chartered Management Accountant and Chartered Banking and Finance Professional, and holds a MBA from Henley Management College.
Amy English is Congressional Liaison for the Foreign and Security Policy Group at the British Embassy in Washington. Before joining the Embassy, Amy managed communications and public affairs for a nonprofit organization against child sex trafficking, travelling throughout the United States and the Caribbean to raise the level of response among civil society, governments and legislators. Amy has spent her life crossing the pond; she studied Politics at the University of San Diego, but returned to her homeland to obtain her postgraduate degree in International Relations from the University of Warwick.
Maeve Atkins is a Communications Officer at the British Embassy in Washington. Maeve is responsible for communicating the UK’s prosperity agenda within the US, focusing on areas including business, science and innovation, climate change, the creative arts and other elements which showcase GREAT Britain. She has spent her life traveling to and from Derry (Londonderry), Northern Ireland, where her mother’s family still lives and works. Maeve earned a degree in communications, with a concentration in public relations, at the University of Maryland, College Park, and now resides in Washington, DC.
Dan Pasquini is the Head of Press & Public Affairs for the British Consulate General in Los Angeles. In this role, he runs the office’s media outreach, builds relationships with decision-makers and opinion-formers around the consular region on behalf of the UK, and oversees the planning of visits to the region by UK Government dignitaries. He joined the consulate in February 2012 after six years as the Communications Director for a member of the New York City Council. Dan graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in journalism. He and his wife live in Santa Monica.
Jonathan Daniel is Vice Consul for Policy and Communications at the British Consulate General in Chicago, where he manages the UK’s political relationships, public diplomacy initiatives, media relations and digital communications in a region of 13 Midwestern states. His work has included launching the consulate’s social media platforms, handling communications and logistics for the UK delegation to the Chicago NATO Summit and delivering the UK government’s first ‘Pop-Up Consulate’. Jonathan joined the consulate in 2008 as Assistant Press & Public Affairs Officer after working as a paralegal, photographer and reporter. He received his degree in political science and communications from Wheaton College.
Deisy Verdinez is part of the Press and Public Affairs team at the British Consulate General Houston. She helps with traditional media relations, manage social media as well as provide support for outreach to important political and academic contacts.
Neil O’Reilly was a Senior Press Officer at the British Embassy in Washington. Neil was responsible for co-ordinating media engagements for the British Ambassador in Washington and planning for high-level UK government visitors to the United States. His work also included press and public diplomacy activities for the embassy on economic and trade issues. He studied undergraduate French and European Politics at the University of Sunderland, and received a graduate degree in post-conflict reconstruction from George Mason University. Neil and his wife DeAnna live in Falls Church, VA.
Hetty Crist served as the Deputy Press Secretary at the British Embassy in Washington. Educated at the University of Northumbria at Newcastle (the same as Jonny Ive!) Hetty has worked in a range of communications roles in both the public and private sector at companies including Microsoft, The Institute of Directors and The National Autistic Society. She joined the British Embassy in July 2010 having previously worked for seven years in government communications roles in London at both The Department of Health and The Foreign Office. In Washington Hetty was responsible for communications work around the UK Economy and the Eurozone, Energy, Trade, and UK domestic, legal and judicial issues as well as Consular and Corporate issues. Her work also included highlighting all that the UK has to offer through the cross-government GREAT Campaign and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Robert Chatterton Dickson
Robert served as British Consul General in Chicago from July 2010 – July 2013. He is currently the Deputy Head Of Mission at the British Embassy in Kabul. Previously, he was Joint Head of the Counter Terrorism Department at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. As Joint Head he shared the leadership of a team of over 80 staff responsible for the FCO contribution to counter terrorism policy and operations. From 2004 to 2007 Robert served as British Ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia. Earlier diplomatic experience included working on Iraq, NATO and UN peacekeeping in London, and postings to the British Embassies in Manila and Washington. Before joining the FCO he worked as an analyst and UK and international investment manager for Morgan Grenfell & Co, a merchant bank in the City of London.
Annabelle Malins served in Atlanta as Her Majesty’s Consul General from September 2009 to August 2013. She led a team which work throughout the Southeast to support British nationals, conduct public diplomacy on key issues, build scientific co-operation, and expand trans-Atlantic trade and investment. Annabelle also participates on a number non-profit boards including the UGA at Oxford, the British American Business Group, Global Executive Women, the Carter Centre Board of Councillors, and the World Chamber of Commerce. Annabelle’s previous posting was in San Francisco where she was the Consul for Science and Innovation. In this role she built UK-US bridges in all aspects of science and technology as well as leading broad-ranging exchanges with leading thinkers in government, business, and academia on climate change and energy issues in California and other West Coast states.
Nic Hailey previously served at the British Embassy in Washington from June 2008 to July 2012 as the head of the Embassy’s political, economic and public affairs department. Nic was educated at a Rudolf Steiner school; at Peterhouse, Cambridge; and at the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA) in Paris. He joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1997 and has worked on European affairs in London, Paris and Berlin, and served as speechwriter to the UK’s Foreign Secretary. Until spring 2008 he was deputy head of the FCO’s Consular Directorate, which helps British nationals in difficulty abroad. He also served as the British Deputy Ambassador in Kabul, Afghanistan from July 2012 to July 2013.