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UK Foreign Office Board gets first Indian-origin member


LONDON: Kumar Iyer has been appointed by the UK executive because the Chief Economist of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), making him the primary Indian-origin member of the dept's control board.


Iyer, who used to be born in London and spent his early years in India, has previously been primarily based in Mumbai as Britain's deputy top commissioner.

In this new role as the executive Economist, which commences in July, he will lead the FCO's Economics Unit which gives in-house financial research enter into overseas coverage formulation, and likewise develops economics capacity within the FCO through the Economics and Prosperity Faculty of the Diplomatic Academy.

"He brings insight of global economics and international finance, and experience of working on economic diplomacy and prosperity abroad," said Sir Simon McDonald, UK Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, in reference to the appointment introduced on Thursday.

“Kumar may even transform our first BAME [black and minority ethnic] FCO Board Member, marking an important step in making sure diversity across the FCO, particularly within the FCO's leadership,” McDonald said.

After a couple of youth years in India, Iyer moved back to the UK aged 11 to be primarily based in Stoke-on-Trent in central England. The FCO famous that he grew up talking Hindi and Tamil, which came to be useful when he used to be posted to India as deputy top commissioner and director general for Economics, trade and industrial affairs in South Asia in 2013.

"The role is a real privilege and marries my love of economics with my interest in global diplomacy," Iyer said, in reference to his new role.

"I think living abroad during my early childhood gave me a sense of the world as a bigger place and I developed an interest in international issues that has always stayed with me," he said.

"Growing up in Stoke-on-Trent I never thought I would get an opportunity to do something like this but I'm thrilled to be re-joining the Foreign Office at such an important time," Iyer said.


Iyer taught global finance and macroeconomics at Harvard University, where he used to be a Kennedy Scholar, and went on to habits his post-graduate research at Cambridge University and is these days a Visiting Academic at Oxford University.


After leaving academia for consultancy, Kumar joined the UK Prime Minister's strategy unit as deputy director at the top of the global monetary crisis throughout Gordon Brown's tenure as PM between 2007 and 2010. He then moved to the UK Treasury division, where his staff used to be accountable for general strategy and coordinated the Budget, before becoming a member of the FCO.


Iyer has all the time cut up his occupation between the personal and public sectors, holding senior positions in each arenas. Since 2017, he has been working part-time as a Visiting Academic at Hertford College, Oxford, as well as being a Partner within the Financial Services Practice at main world control consultancy, Oliver Wyman.


In his previous role because the British deputy top commissioner primarily based in Mumbai, Iyer had the responsibility for Western India and used to be also the director general for Economic, Trade and Investment with general responsibility for the UK-India trade courting.


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