Monday 28 April 2014


The British Council is pleased to welcome Matthew Rycroft to our Board of Trustees, effective immediately. Mr Rycroft is Chief Operating Officer of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

The Chair of the Board of Trustees, Sir Vernon Ellis, said: "The British Council and the FCO work closely together around the world. Both because of this relationship and because of the experience, energy and fresh ideas Matthew brings, I am delighted that he is joining our Board of Trustees. I look forward to working with him to ensure we make even more impact for the UK around the world through our work in arts, education and the English language."

The British Council’s Board of Trustees assure the British Council’s charitable purpose and are accountable for the organisation's governance. They hold the Executive Board accountable for the organisations performance, strategy and policy.

Matthew Rycroft said: “I have admired and worked closely with British Council colleagues throughout my FCO career - on postings in Paris, Washington and Sarajevo, as Europe Director, and in my current role as Chief Operating Officer. I am delighted to become a Trustee and play a part in forging ever closer alignment between our two organisations.”

Mr Rycroft was previously Europe Director in the FCO from July 2008, and British Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina from March 2005. He joined the FCO in 1989. After a few months in Geneva and then on the NATO desk in London, he spent four years in the British Embassy in Paris. From 1995-96 he was head of the political section of Eastern Adriatic Department in the FCO and a member of the British delegation to the Dayton peace talks on Bosnia and Herzegovina. After two years in the FCO’s Policy Planning Staff covering European and trans-Atlantic issues, Matthew joined the British Embassy in Washington from 1998 to 2002. From 2002 to 2004, he was Private Secretary to the Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs. He received a CBE for this work in 2004.

Notes to Editor

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For more information about the management and structure of the British Council please see here.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. 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 7,000 staff – including 2,000 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.

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 £781 million. 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.

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