Sir William Patey KCMG LLD

Distinguished Fellow


Sir William Patey was a senior British diplomat until April 2012. He served as Ambassador to Afghanistan (2010-2012), to Saudi Arabia (2007-2010) to Iraq (2005-2006) and to Sudan (2002-2005). He was also Head of the Middle East Department at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1999-2002.

Since retiring from government service in 2012, he has become an international consultant and regular media commentator on Middle East affairs. He is currently Government and International Affairs adviser to Control Risks. He was, until 2019, a Non-Executive Director at HSBC Middle East Ltd and a Senior Adviser to AECOM. Previous positions include Chairman of the HMBE Financial Systems Vulnerability Committee and member of HSBC Holdings Ltd FSVC.

Sir William was also Chairman of Swindon Town FC (2012-2013) and served as the PM’s Special Envoy for Aviation Security (2015-2016). He is Chairman of two charities - the Turquoise Mountain Trust and the Saudi British Society. He is an Honorary Fellow of Exeter University and Distinguished Fellow at New Westminster College, Vancouver. He was awarded a doctorate in law (honoris causa) by the University of Dundee in July 2016.

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