Director of The Ditchley Foundation, Co-Chair of the International Rescue Committee UK and former UN Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs
Sir John Holmes is Director of the Ditchley Foundation. Before serving as UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator between 2007 and 2010, he was British Ambassador to Portugal and subsequently Ambassador to France. He joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1973 and served in a wide range of diplomatic roles in New York, Moscow and New Delhi. He was Overseas Adviser to Prime Minister John Major from 1997-99, and Principal Private Secretary and Overseas Adviser to Prime Minister Tony Blair from 1997 to 1999. He was awarded a knighthood in 1998 for his role in the Northern Ireland peace process, particularly the negotiation of the Good Friday Agreement. He is a member of the International Rescue Committee UK’s Board of Trustees.