UK government has appointed Kumar Iyer, as Foreign Chief Economist and Foreign Commonwealth Office representative making him the Indian originated member of the managing board department. Mr. Iyer, who was born in London and spent childhood days in India, as well as previously originated from Mumbai where he was Deputy High Commissioner of Britain.
In this new role as the Chief Economist, which introduces in July, he will manage the responsibility of the FCO’s Economics Unit which provides in-home economic analysis input into foreign policy formulation, and also develops economics capability within the FCO through the Economics and Prosperity Faculty of the Diplomatic Academy.
Foreign Office Secretary of UK Parliament, Sir, Simon McDonald said, “he brings insight of global economics and international finance, and experience of working on economic diplomacy and prosperity abroad”, in reference to the nomination declared on Thursday.
McDonald said, “Kumar Iyer will also become our first BAME [black and minority ethnic] FCO Board Member, marking a significant step in ensuring diversity across the FCO, particularly within the FCO’s leadership ”.
After a few years in childhood in India, Mr. Iyer shifts back to the UK at the age of 11 to be based in Stoke-on-Trent in Central England. The FCO remarked that he grew up speaking Hindi and Tamil, which emerged to be useful while he was posted to India as Deputy High Commissioner and Director General for Economics, Commercial Affairs, and Trade in South Asia in 2013.
Mentioning his new role Mr. Iyer said, “the role is a real privilege and marries my love of economics with my interest in global diplomacy ”. He said, “ I think living abroad during my early childhood gave me a sense of the world as a bigger place and I developed an interest in international issues that has always stayed with me”.
He also added, “growing up in Stoke-on-Trent I never thought I would get an opportunity to do something like this but I’m thrilled to be re-joining the Foreign Office at such an important time.”
Mr. Iyer has been trained in international finance and macroeconomics at Harvard University, where he was a Kenedy Scholar, and went on to conduct his post-graduation studies at Cambridge University and is currently a visiting academic at Oxford University.