Karen Pierce

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Person.png Karen Pierce  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Karen Pierce.jpg
Born23 September 1959
Alma materCambridge/Girton College, London School of Economics

Dame Karen Pierce is a British diplomat. She is a former UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations. In December 2019, she was tipped as one of the front runners to either the position of chief of the MI6, or ambassador to Washington.[1]

Early life and Personal Information

Pierce was educated at Penwortham Girls' High School in Lancashire and Girton College, Cambridge (BA in English, later raised to MA). In 2012 she gained an MSc degree in International Strategy and Diplomacy from the London School of Economics (LSE).

Pierce is married to Charles Roxburgh, a senior civil servant at HM Treasury. Together they have two sons, born 1991 and 1997. [2]


Given her possible MI6 job, her official biography is most likely very scrubbed.

Pierce joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1981. After a period of training in Japanese, she was posted to Tokyo as a Third Secretary in 1984. In 1987, she returned to London and joined the Security Policy Department of the FCO. From 1992 to 1995, she was based in Washington, DC, as Private Secretary to the Ambassador. She held various positions at the FCO between 1996 and 2000: Team Leader for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova (1996 to 1997), Deputy Head Eastern Adriatic (Balkans) Department (1997 to 1999), and Head of the FCO Newsroom (1999 to 2000).

From 2006 to 2009 Pierce was the UK's Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. In this capacity, she acted as the President of the UN Security Council in April 2007 and in May 2008. From 2009 to 2012 she was Director, South Asia and Afghanistan at the FCO, acting as the UK Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan June 2010 – June 2011.

From 2012 to 2015 Pierce was the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations in Geneva, and also to other international organisations in Geneva including the World Trade Organization. From May 2015 to February 2016 she was the United Kingdom's Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Until early 2018, she was made FCO's Director General Political.[3]

Pierce was appointed as the UK's Permanent Representative to the UN in March 2018. During her time in office, Britain coordinated the Council's activities on Myanmar.


Event Participated in

Munich Security Conference/20114 February 20116 February 2011Munich
The 47th Munich Security Conference


Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Raqqa: A City Laid Waste, The Law Laid LowArticle2 November 2018Christopher BlackIn June 2017, the US-led coalition - including France and the UK - launched a military operation to force the Islamic State armed group from Raqqa. But instead of only targeting IS, we killed hundreds and injured thousands of civilians, while obliterating much of the city.
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