Sir John Jenkins

Senior Fellow


Sir John Jenkins has enjoyed a 35 year career in the British Diplomatic Service. He holds a BA (Double First Class Honours) and a Ph.D from Jesus College, Cambridge. He also studied at The School of Oriental and African Studies in London (Arabic and Burmese) and through the FCO with the London and Ashridge Business Schools. He is an alumnus of the Salzburg Seminar. He joined the FCO in 1980 and served in Abu Dhabi (1983-86), Malaysia (1989-92) and Kuwait (1995-98) before being appointed Ambassador to Burma (1999-2002). He was subsequently HM Consul-General, Jerusalem (2003-06), Ambassador to Syria (2006-07), FCO Director for the Middle East and North Africa (2007-09), Ambassador to Iraq (2009-11), Special Representative to the National Transitional Council and subsequently Ambassador to Libya (2011) and Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (2012-2015). He took an active part in Sir John Chilcott’s Iraq Inquiry and was asked by the Prime Minister in March 2014 to lead a Policy Review into the Muslim Brotherhood and Political Islamism. Until his departure from the FCO he was the government’s senior diplomatic Arabist. Most recently, Sir John was Executive Director of The Institute for Strategic Studies – Middle East (2015-2017) and a Senior Fellow at the Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs (2017).

Sir John Jenkins

Related Posts & Publications

A lesson from Vienna in countering Islamist extremism

A lesson from Vienna in countering Islamist extremism

Related Content Austria (with which I should declare I have family ties) is perhaps more widely known for Apfelstrudel, the Salzburg Festival, alpine resorts and Conchita Würst than as a European policy leader. It’s been a while since Bruno Kreisky’s edgy...
A State of Extremes

A State of Extremes

By Sir John Jenkins Recent events in Manchester, London, the Gulf, Mosul, Raqqa and Libya highlight the fragmentary nature of western policy responses to mobilised Islamism and all its works. Domestically in the UK this has been a public concern at least since the...