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Biographical notes on Sir Christopher Meyer

SIR CHRISTOPHER MEYER, KCMG
CHAIRMAN OF THE PRESS COMPLAINTS COMMISSION

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Sir Christopher Meyer was born in Beaconsfield, England, on 22 February 1944. He was educated at Lancing College, the Lycee Henri IV, Paris, and Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he read History. After Cambridge, he spent a year at the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Bologna, Italy.

Sir Christopher joined the Diplomatic Service in 1966. After two years in London, he was posted to Moscow from 1968 to 1970, and then to Madrid from 1970 to 1973.

On returning to London, he worked as Head of the Soviet Section in the East European and Soviet Department. In 1976 he was transferred to the Policy Planning Staff as speech-writer to the Foreign Secretary. In this capacity he worked until 1978 for three Foreign Secretaries: James Callaghan (Later Lord Callaghan), the late Anthony Crosland, and David Owen (Later Lord Owen).

In 1978 he was posted to Brussels to the UK Representation to the European Communities where he specialised in trade policy. From there he went in 1982 to Moscow as Political Counsellor.

On returning to London in 1984, he spent four years as Foreign Office Spokesman and Press Secretary to the then Foreign Secretary, Sir Geoffrey Howe (Later Lord Howe of Aberavon).

In 1988-89 he spent a sabbatical year as a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University’s Centre for International Affairs, after which he was posted to Washington as Minister with responsibility for trade policy. In 1992 he was promoted to Minister and Deputy Head of Mission.

On returning to London in 1994, he was for two years Government Spokesman and Press Secretary to the Prime Minister. After serving as British Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany from March 1997 to October 1997, Sir Christopher was appointed Ambassador to the United States from October 1997 to February 2003, the longest period since the Second World War.

Sir Christopher retired from the Diplomatic Service at the end of February 2003 and became Chairman of the Press Complaints Commission in March 2003. He is a non-executive director of GKN and the Arbuthnot Banking Group; he is also a member of the International Advisory Board of Fleishman-Hillard. He is an Honorary Fellow of Peterhouse.

Sir Christopher was made Knight Commander, Order of St Michael and St George in 1998. He enjoys playing tennis, watching football and listening to jazz.

In 2005 Sir Christopher published a book of memoirs entitled “DC Confidential”. In 2007 he presented and co-wrote the BBC 4 television documentary “Mortgaged to the Yanks”. He has also presented and written several BBC radio programmes on diplomacy and British/American relations.

He is married to Catherine. They have between them four sons from previous marriages.


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