Sir Vernon Ellis, Chair of the British Council commented: “I am delighted that Martin Davidson has been awarded a Knighthood in recognition of his career of nearly 30 years dedicated to the British Council and its work building trust for the UK around the world. He has led the British Council over the last seven years through a period of significant growth in its impact in more than 100 countries. Through his leadership Martin has ensured that the British Council's work with English, UK education and culture has helped create the ‘soft power’ influence and attraction which benefits the whole UK.”
Martin Davidson said: “I am delighted to have been honoured by the Queen in this way. I am enormously proud of what the British Council has achieved over the past seven years and am grateful for all the hard work and support of my colleagues around the world who have made it possible.”
The full citation for Martin Davidson’s honour reads: Since becoming Chief Executive Officer in 2006 Martin Davidson has transformed the capabilities and focus of the British Council, guiding the organisation through a long period of great change. This has included a new focus on growing the income earned by the British Council in order to widen its reach and impact as well as increasing its visibility in the UK, and close engagement with Government Departments on enhancing the UK's ‘soft power’.
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The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.
We work in more than 100 countries and our 7000 staff – including 2000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the Arts and delivering education and society programmes.
Our first office in China opened in 1943 and we work in four cities in Mainland China. In Beijing we operate as the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy. In Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing we operate as the Cultural and Education Section of the British Consulates-General respectively.
We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publically-funded grant provides less than 25 per cent of our turnover which last year was £781m. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.
For more information, please visit our global website: www.britishcouncil.org.