Alan Charlton

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Alan Charlton CMG CVO (born 21 June 1952) is a senior British diplomat who was British Ambassador to Brazil 2008–2013.[1]


He attended Nottingham High School, and then Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (MA), Leicester University (PGCE) and Manchester University (BLing).

He joined the Diplomatic Service in 1978 and in his early career served in the British Embassy in Amman, after learning Arabic, and in the British Military Government in Berlin.

He was previously Deputy British Ambassador to the United States and Germany. He has worked on a wide range of issues, notably former Yugoslavia when he was a lead player in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the 1990s. He was made a Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George in the 1996 New Year Honours in recognition of this work.

In Brazil, he led five posts:[2] the Embassy in Brasilia; Consulates-General in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Recife; and a Trade Office in Porto Alegre. During his period of office, he led a major UK effort to strengthen relations with both the large emerging economies and with Latin America. There was a sharp increase in Ministerial visits, including both Gordon Brown and David Cameron, and increased support and encouragement for British business. UK and Brazil agreed a Strategic Partnership with annual meetings led by Foreign Ministers to review and boost bilateral relations.[3] His particular focus in Brazil was on working with British business, education and science.[4]

His career has been marked by important visits overseas by the British Royal Family, most notably the State Visit of Queen Elizabeth II to the USA in 2007, after which he was made Commander of the Royal Victorian Order for his role. The visit of Prince Harry to Brazil in 2009 on his first solo overseas tour, gave a major boost to the UK profile.[5]

He has lectured in Germany, US, Brazil and UK. He speaks Portuguese, German and French. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.


  • 1978–1979: Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Desk Officer in West Africa Department
  • 1979–1980: Arabic language training
  • 1981–1984: British Embassy Amman, Second, later First, Secretary
  • 1984–1986: Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Desk Officer for Israel and Lebanon
  • 1986–1990: Berlin, British Military Government (later British Mission) Deputy Political Adviser
  • 1991–1992: Cabinet Office, Deputy Chief of Assessments Staff
  • 1993–1996: Foreign and Commonwealth Office Head of East Adriatic Unit and UK member of Bosnia Contact Group
  • 1996–2001: British Embassy Bonn (later Berlin), Counsellor then Deputy Head of Mission
  • 2001–2001: Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Director, South East Europe
  • 2001–2004: Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Director of Human Resources *2004–2007: British Embassy Washington, Deputy Head of Mission
  • 2008–2013: British Ambassador, Brasilia[1]
Government offices
Preceded by
Peter Collecott
British Ambassador to Brazil
Succeeded by
Alex Ellis


  1. ^ a b "Change of Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Brazil". Foreign & Commonwealth Office. 12 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "UK Government bio". UK Government. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "UK/Brazil Communique". UK Government. Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "Why the lure of Latin America is proving so tempting for our businesses". Derby Telegraph. Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Prince Harry charms Brazil on Olympics visit". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 June 2013.