Sir Brian Barder, KCMG

Honorary Visiting Fellow


Sir Brian Barder joined the Colonial Office in London in 1957, and transferred to the Diplomatic Service in 1965. He enjoyed a long career and held a wide variety of posts including:

  • First Secretary, UK Mission to the United Nations, dealing with decolonisation (1964-1968)
  • Assistant Head of West African Department (1968–71)
  • First Secretary and Press Attaché, Moscow (Soviet Union) (1971–73)
  • Counsellor and Head of Chancery, British High Commission, Canberra (Australia) (1973–77)
  • Head of Central and Southern, later Southern African Department, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (1978–82)
  • British Ambassador to Ethiopia (1982–86). He played a prominent role in the vast international famine relief operation in Ethiopia throughout this period.
  • Ambassador to Poland (1986–88)
  • High Commissioner to Nigeria and concurrently Ambassador to Bénin (1988–91)
  • High Commissioner to Australia (1991–94).

In 1992 he was awarded the KCMG.

He joined the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Leicester as an Honorary Visiting Fellow in 2006.

Blogging and Publications

What Diplomats Do: the Life and Work of Diplomats by Sir Brian Barder

Brian Barder is the author of a book due to be published in July 2014 entitled: What Diplomats Do: the Life and Work of Diplomats.

What Diplomats Do examines various aspects of the life of a diplomat, contrasting his or her work in an affluent, friendly country with that in a developing country and one with a hostile government, describing the impact on personal and family life and personal security, as well as the privileges and drawbacks of serving as an Ambassador. Brian Barder considers the potential influence of the individual diplomat in helping to formulate and carry out his government’s foreign policy decisions.

He also writes a popular and highly interactive blog and is a regular contributor to the LabourList website, analysing and commenting in both on current international and national political and social issues from a left-of-centre and small-l liberal position.

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School of Politics and International Relations

University of Leicester
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Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2702


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