Kumar Iyer appointed new Foreign Office Chief Economist

handshakeKumar Iyer has been appointed as FCO Chief Economist and will take up his new role in July.

In this role he will lead the FCO’s Economics Unit which provides in-house economic analysis input into foreign policy formulation, and also develops economics capability within the FCO through the Economics and Prosperity Faculty of the Diplomatic Academy.

Kumar Iyer also joins the FCO Management Board.

Born in London, he spent a number of his childhood years living in India before returning to the UK aged 11 and living in Stoke-on-Trent. In addition to English, he grew up speaking Hindi and Tamil, which came to be useful when he was posted to India as British Deputy High Commissioner and Director General for Economics, Trade and Commercial Affairs in South Asia in 2013.

Kumar Iyer said: “I think living abroad during my early childhood gave me a sense of the world as a bigger place and I developed an interest in international issues that has always stayed with me. The role is a real privilege and marries my love of economics with my interest in global diplomacy.

“Growing up in Stoke-on-Trent I never thought I would get an opportunity to do something like this but I’m thrilled to be re-joining the Foreign Office at such an important time.”

Sir Simon McDonald Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, said: “We are glad to appoint Kumar as Chief Economist. He brings insight of global economics and international finance, and experience of working on economic diplomacy and prosperity abroad.

“Kumar will also become our first BAME FCO Board Member, marking a significant step in ensuring diversity across the FCO, particularly within the FCO’s leadership.”