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Philip Barton

Former Deputy Head of Mission, British Embassy in Washington

Philip Barton is the Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Washington. Philip is a career diplomatic service officer. He joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1986 and worked on international economic and trade issues before being posted to Caracas as a political officer in 1987.

In addition, Philip was seconded in 1991 to the Cabinet Office Assessment Staff with responsibility for producing intelligence estimates on Eastern Europe (in particular the Balkans following the collapse of Yugoslavia) and the former Soviet Union for the Joint Intelligence Committee. Following his time at the Cabinet Office, Philip returned to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the then European Community Department (Internal) to work on institutional aspects of the European Union and the legislation required to allow the UK to ratify the Maastricht Treaty. Philip has also been posted to New Delhi as First Secretary responsible for a range of subjects, including India/Pakistan relations, Kashmir and non-proliferation issues.
In 1997, he returned to London to become Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, working first for John Major and then for Tony Blair for three years following the election of the new Labour Government in May 1997.

In 2000, Philip moved to Nicosia as the Deputy Head of Mission in the British High Commission, where he worked closely with the US Administration in support of the UN Secretary General’s efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus problem. In 2005, he was posted to the UK overseas territory of Gibraltar as Deputy Governor. As such, he had day-to-day responsibility for the administration of the territory, in particular in the areas of internal security, justice and international relations. He played a leading role in the negotiation of a new Constitution for the territory and the conclusion of a ground-breaking trilateral agreement between the UK, Spain and Gibraltar (the Cordoba Agreement).

Philip returned to London in June 2008 as Director for South Asia in the FCO with responsibility for the UK’s relations with South Asian countries, working in particular on India/Pakistan relations following the Mumbai attacks and the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka. In September 2009, he moved to a newly-created post in the Cabinet Office as Director, Afghanistan/Pakistan Co-ordinator with responsibility for co-ordinating the UK’s engagement in those countries. In May 2010, following the creation of the UK’s first National Security Council by Prime Minister Cameron, his role was expanded to cover all foreign policy issues as Director, Foreign Policy and Afghanistan/Pakistan Co-ordinator in the secretariat supporting the Council.

Philip studied economics and politics at Warwick University and has a Masters degree in economics from the London School of Economics. He is married to Amanda and has a daughter called India and son called Caspar, who are with him in Washington.

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