Sir Christopher Meyer KCMG

Sir Christopher Meyer KCMG

Former Ambassador to US

Synopsis

Christopher served as British Ambassador to the US. He explains that life as ‘Ambo’ on Capitol Hill isn’t just about crises. There were encounters with movie stars and receptions steeped in complex diplomatic protocol. As well as serious examinations of power, international relations and policy, after dinner he sets out ‘How to be an Ambassador’ and reveals his ten rules of successful negotiation.

Biography

Sir Christopher Meyer served in the Diplomatic Service for almost four decades. He was posted to Washington as British Ambassador towards the end of the Clinton Presidency. His extended five year term made him the longest serving post-war British Ambassador to the US incorporating events including the 9/11 attacks, wars in Kosovo and Afghanistan, and the preparation for the invasion of Iraq.

Whilst in the States Christopher was involved in discussions on everything from trade disputes to the ‘war on terror’. He represented the UK at a range of negotiations and summits, formally introducing Prime Minister Blair to President George W Bush, and being a regular presence around their meetings. Christopher’s subsequent account of life behind the diplomatic scenes, DC Confidential, caused a stir revealing details of UK/US relations in the run-up to the Iraq war, as well as the deals, the rows, and the nature of the ‘special relationship’.

Prior to his role in the US, Christopher served as Ambassador to Germany; press secretary to John Major; speechwriter to three Foreign Secretaries, and head of the political section of the Embassy in Moscow. He also served in Madrid and with the EU in Brussels. After retiring from the Diplomatic Service he was Chair of the Press Complaints Commission for six years.

Now a regular on TV, radio and in print, Christopher comments on international affairs, the media and global relations. In his book and the accompanying BBC series Getting Our Way: 500 Years of Adventure and Intrigue - the Inside Story of British Diplomacy he recounted the extraordinary events in diplomatic history that shaped the UK and the world. He’s written and presented Sky’s Networks of Power, looking at the modern centres of political and economic influence from Moscow to Mumbai via New York. He advised and appeared on BBC2’s Inside The War Room: World War 3, and has made a number of other factual programmes for TV and radio, as well as frequent appearances on the likes of Question Time, Newsnight and This Week.

Christopher is a wonderfully engaging speaker. Whether talking about the axis of power between Europe and America, the impact (and limits) of diplomacy, ambassadorial etiquette or the history of pop music - he speaks with authority and a mixture of refinement and irreverence. He also speaks Russian, French, Spanish and German - with varying degrees of ability.

Amongst a range of academic, advisory and non-executive roles Christopher holds positions at Cambridge University, the Arbuthnot Banking Group and British-American Business inc. He is a Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute and a visiting Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard.

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Video

Conference Speaker Christopher Meyer JLA Speakers Breakfast