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Mark Sedwill

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Title: Mark Sedwill  
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Subject: Home Office, Bourne Grammar School, Sherard Cowper-Coles, Geoffrey Adams, Helen Ghosh
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Mark Sedwill

Mark Philip Sedwill CMG[1][2] (born 21 October 1964 in Ealing) is a British diplomat and civil servant, who served as the United Kingdom's Ambassador to Afghanistan from 2009–10 and the NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan in 2010. From February 2013, he will be the Permanent Secretary at the Home Office.[3]

Early life

Sedwill attended Bourne Grammar School in Bourne, Lincolnshire, becoming the Head Boy. He went to the University of St Andrews where he gained a Bachelor of Science (BSc), and later gained an Master of Philosophy (MPhil) from St Edmund Hall, Oxford.[2]


Sedwill joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1989 and to 1991 he served in the Security Coordination Department and Gulf War Emergency Unit. He was then based in Cairo 1991-4 as a Second Secretary to Egypt, then First Secretary in Iraq from 1996-97 whilst serving as a United Nations weapons inspector, then in Nicosia as First Secretary for Political-Military Affairs and Counterterrorism from 1997-99 in Cyprus. He was the Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Robin Cook and Jack Straw) from 2000-02 in the run up to and preparations for the 2003 Iraq invasion.[2]

He then served as the Deputy High Commissioner to Pakistan, based in Islamabad from 2003-5, then the Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Department of the Foreign Office and then fom 2006-8 he was then International Director of the UK Border Agency.[4][2]

Afghanistan ambassador and NATO rôles

In April 2009, Sedwill became the Ambassador to Afghanistan, succeeding Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles. In January 2010, he was additionally appointed as NATO's Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan,[5][6] to be the civilian counterpart to the ISAF Commander, US General Stanley A. McChrystal and then US General David H. Petraeus. He was succeeded as ambassador temporarily by his predecessor, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles and then by Sir William Patey, formerly British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.[2]

In May 2011, Sedwill took over as the FCO's Director-General for Afghanistan and Pakistan (and thus as the UK's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan) from Karen Pierce CMG. He additionally became the FCO's Director-General, Political in Autumn 2012, replacing Sir Geoffrey Adams.

Home Office

On 9 January 2013, it was announced that Sedwill was to become the next Permanent Secretary at the Home Office filling the vacancy left by Dame Helen Ghosh from 1 February 2013.[3]

Personal life

Sedwill married in 1999 and has one daughter. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 2008.[1] He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors (FIoD).[2]


External links

  • Panther's Claw in August 2009
  • Strategy in March 2009
  • [1]
  • The hill of gold

Video clips

  • General David Petraeus and Ambassador Mark Sedwill on Afghanistan
  • ISAF Media March 2010
  • Becoming NATO representative in February 2010 (FCO)
  • ISAF Media January 2010
  • Frontline Club January 2010
  • British Satellite News
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles
British Ambassador to Afghanistan
Succeeded by
Sir William Patey
Preceded by
Fernando Gentilini
NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan
January–June 2010
Succeeded by
Sir Simon Gass
Preceded by
Karen Pierce
Director-General, Afghanistan & Pakistan of the
Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Sir Geoffrey Adams
Director-General, Political of the
Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Succeeded by
Government offices
Preceded by
Dame Helen Ghosh
Permanent Secretary of the
Home Office


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