News | Published February 08 2020

Dame Karen Pierce becomes first female ambassador to US

The government has appointed Dame Karen Pierce as the new ambassador to the US, making her the first woman to hold the post.

The position was vacant after the resignation of Sir Kim Darroch, who left his post in 2019 after emails were leaked in which he described Donald Trump’s administration as “clumsy and inept.”

Currently, Dame Pierce is the UK’s representative to the United Nations and has served in various diplomatic roles during her career. 

Joining the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1981, Pierce has served in countries around the world, including several posts in the US, and became British Ambassador to Afghanistan in 2015. Before being appointed as the UN representative, she returned to the FCO, serving as chief operation officer.

Tweeting the announcement, Boris Johnson described her as an “outstanding and accomplished diplomat” and said “I can think of no better person to drive forward our hugely important relationship with the United States at this time.”

This sentiment was echoed by Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, who said it was “a time of huge opportunity for the friendship between the UK and the US.”

Alongside smoothing over disputes about Iran and Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s 5G network, Pierce’s greatest task will be overseeing the agreement of a trade deal between the UK and the US.

Speaking after the announcement of her new position, Dame Pierce said: “I am honoured to have been asked to represent the UK in the US. I think it is the UK's single most important relationship. There is a deep bond between Britain and the US, built on many pillars.

"We have a fantastic cross-government team across the US and I look forward to working with them to strengthen and even further deepen the special relationship between our two countries and peoples."

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Authored by

George Salmon
Political Editor
February 08 2020

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