Women HOMs – ‘role models’

London’s women heads of mission are an example to the Foreign Office, FCO Minister Meg Munn said recently at the Annual General Meeting of the Women in Diplomatic Service.

Addressing an audience of women ambassadors and senior diplomats, the FCO Minister said she was surprised and delighted to discover that there were currently 25 resident women ambassadors posted to London. She also congratulated the work the organisation did in promoting women in diplomacy.

“The Foreign Office is not doing as well and I’d like to see us having more women in senior positions,” she said. “The women here today can act as role models for our own staff.”

The FCO minister praised the various programmes of the WDS, saying the the organisation was living up to its responsibility to show “the female face of foreign policy”.

Ambassador Liliana Fernandez, the WDS Chairwoman, thanked the Minister for her support, saying she hoped the WDS could strengthen its ties with the Foreign Office.

Re-elected for a second term, Ambassador Fernandez said she was committed to taking the organisation forward and thanked the WDS Committee for their hard work in keeping the organisation active and relevant.

Rosalie Rivett, WDS Vice Chair and Scholarship Programme Director, was appointed to the new position of Executive Director of the organisation and will play a coordinating role. Treasurer Dawn Smith will continue in her position, while WDS Secretary Elizabeth Stewart and Membership Secretary, Andorran Ambassador Maria Rosa Picart, were both re-elected and appointed co-Vice Chairs.

Caroline Muir will continue as the Director of the Events Committee while Afsaneh Wogan will take charge of the organisation’s new Economic and Energy Forum.

Following the election of the committee, WDS members enjoyed a networking reception hosted by Minister Meg Munn at the Foreign Secretary’s official residence. It was a great opportunity for members to meet their opposite numbers in the FCO.