New Director of Protocol takes office

Departing Director of Protocol Anna Clunes (left) wears the first-ever FCO Diplomatic
Uniform for women, which will be passed on to the interim Director Catherine
Nettleton (right)

Former British Ambassador to Venezuela Catherine Nettleton has taken over from Anna Clunes as the interim Director at the FCO’s Protocol Directorate.

Ms Nettleton will hold the position for six months after which she will continue to another diplomatic posting in the summer.

A specialist in Latin American politics, economics and defence matters, Ms Nettleton, 54, joined the FCO in 1983 where she began her career on the Latin America Desk. Her foreign postings include Mexico City (1991-95) meaning she will be a safe pair of hands for the upcoming Mexican State Visit in March. Ms Nettleton also served Beijing (2000-04) so will be on hand to prepare for the proposed Chinese State Visit in the autumn.

She also served as Britain’s first female Ambassador to Peru (2006-2010) before her posting as Ambassador to Caracas (2010-2014).

Anna Clunes departs to take up a new appointment as Director of Prosperity, the directorate responsible for promoting Britain’s economic diplomacy.

Ms Clunes made history at the Protocol Directorate, having successfully lobbied for the creation of a female Vice Marshal’s uniform to be worn at ceremonial occasions.

It is the first FCO diplomatic uniform specifically designed for women and will now be passed on to her successor.