Skip to main content

Transcript of interview: Lord McDonald of Salford, 2021

Reference Code: GBR/0014/DOHP 199

Scope and Contents

From the Fonds:

The programme comprises transcripts of interviews with senior diplomats.


  • Creation: 2021


Conditions Governing Access

From the Fonds:

The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.

Material in this collection is open to researchers unless otherwise marked in the catalogue.

Biographical / Historical

Simon McDonald was born on 9 March 1961, the son of James B. McDonald and Angela (née McDonald). He was educated at De La Salle College Grammar School, Salford and Pembroke College, University of Cambridge (MA; Hon. Fellow, 2016). In 1989, he married Olivia Mary, older daughter of Baron Wright of Richmond, GCMG, having two sons and two daughters. McDonald joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1982, and his diplomatic career included the following; Jedda, 1985; Riyadh, 1985–88; Bonn, 1988–90; FCO, 1990; Private Secretary to Permanent Under-Secretary of State, FCO, 1993–95; First Secretary, Washington, 1995–98; Counsellor, Deputy Head of Mission and Consul-General, Riyadh, 1998–2001; Principal Private Secretary to Foreign Secretary, 2001–03; Ambassador to Israel, 2003–06; Director, Iraq, FCO, 2006–07; Foreign Policy Adviser to Prime Minister and Head, Overseas and Defence Secretariat, later Foreign and Defence Policy Secretariat, Cabinet Office, 2007–10; Ambassador to Germany, 2010–15; Permanent Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Head of the Diplomatic Service, 2015–20.


1 file(s)

External Documents


See Lord McDonald's memoir, "Leadership:  Lessons in the Life of Diplomacy".

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 336087