Outside the Echo Chamber – Sir Richard Stagg

Outside the Echo Chamber is a series of events where the aim is to offer an opportunity to have conversations with people you wouldn’t normally meet in your day to day life. This month we will be hearing from career diplomat, Sir Richard Stagg, on his experience of working in Afghanistan and Bulgaria during times of conflict.


What is the role of outsiders when seeking reconciliation to conflict?
<p>In our second series ‘Reimagining Britain in a Changing World’ we are asking questions to some of the main challenges the country faces in a world beset by social, economic and environmental issues.</p> <p>In our second event of the year, Sir Richard Stagg shares insights from a career in international diplomacy that includes ambassadorial roles during times of conflict in Afghanistan (2012-2015) and Bulgaria (1998-2001) during the Kosovo war.</p> <p>Sir Richard also served as High Commissioner to India (2007-2011) and is currently a trustee of SOAS University of London.</p>
<p>On 15 April 2012, Sir Richard Stagg took up the position of British Ambassador to Afghanistan, replacing Sir William Patey.</p> <p>Sir Richard Stagg was educated at Winchester College and Oriel College, Oxford where he read history.</p> <p>On joining the Foreign Office, he worked in the Department responsible for Hong Kong – on his second day the Hong Kong Police mutinied, adding to the challenge of managing Britain’s last major overseas territory.</p> <p>He then spent three years in Bulgaria under the Communists, and a further three years in the Netherlands at a time when the country was in uproar over the planned deployment of US missiles.</p> <p>Sir Richard was then seconded to the Secretariat of the European Council to help establish a new organisation designed to coordinate more effectively the foreign policy of the members of the EU. When he left it had 17 staff; it now has many hundreds. He returned to London to work on policy towards the Soviet Union in the three years leading up to its collapse and the liberation of Eastern Europe – the goal of our policy for the previous four decades.</p> <p>After two years as British Press Spokesman in Brussels during the Maastricht negotiations (which led to a landmark treaty paving the way for the Euro), Sir Richard became Private Secretary to the British Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd.</p> <p>From 1996–1998 Sir Richard was head of the Foreign Office Department responsible for the Enlargement of the EU – negotiations with 10 candidate countries were started in early 1998 under the UK’s Presidency of the EU.</p> <p>Sir Richard was appointed British Ambassador to Bulgaria in 1998 and served there for three years during the war over the future of Kosovo.</p> <p>Between 2001 and 2007 Sir Richard was responsible for the Foreign Office’s global consular, visa and information work; and for the global estate, IT and HR. He sat on the Foreign Office Board from 2002 – 2007.</p>

About the host

<p>Matt leads our newly created Corporate Engagement Programme, which aims to foster better relationships with our City neighbours and open new dialogues on the work of St Ethelburga’s.</p> <p>Matt joins us following a career in corporate insurance which has seen him work on assignments in the UK and throughout Asia and the Middle East. Most recently, Matt has completed an MA in Regenerative Economics at Schumacher College, with particular interest in systems thinking and creating new narratives around the climate crisis.</p>

About this series

<p>Outside the Echo Chamber is a collaboration between RSM and St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation & Peace. The aim is to bring you into contact with high quality speakers from a range of sectors who you wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to meet.</p> <p>RSM are the corporate sponsors of Outside the Echo Chamber series. RSM is a leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services to middle market leaders, globally.</p>

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