John Kerr, Baron Kerr of Kinlochard
|The Right Honourable
The Lord Kerr of Kinlochard
|British Ambassador to the
|Prime Minister||John Major|
|Preceded by||Robin Renwick|
|Succeeded by||Christopher Meyer|
|British Representative to the
|President||Enrique Barón Crespo
|Prime Minister||John Major|
|Preceded by||David Hannay|
|Succeeded by||Stephen Wall|
|Born||22 February 1942
Grantown-on-Spey, Scotland, United Kingdom
Background and education
Born in Grantown-on-Spey, he was educated at Glasgow Academy and at Pembroke College, Oxford (BA modern history 1963). He has Honorary degrees from the Universities of St Andrews, Aston and Glasgow. He is a Fellow of Imperial College London and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and an Hon Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford.
He served in the British Diplomatic Service from 1966 until 2002. This included postings at the British Embassy in Moscow, and at the High Commission in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. He was Private secretary to the Permanent Under Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1974 until 1979, and was on secondment to HM Treasury from 1979 until 1984, during which time he was Principal Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1981 until 1984. He was Head of Chancery at the British Embassy in Washington DC from 1984 until 1987, then Assistant Under Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1987 until 1990.
He was Ambassador and UK Permanent Representative to the European Communities/European Union in Brussels from 1990 until 1995, and Ambassador to the United States in Washington from 1995 to 1997. Returning to London in 1997, he was Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office and Head of the Diplomatic Service until 2002. After leaving UK Government service he was Secretary General of the European Convention in 2002/3.
He was appointed CMG in 1987, KCMG in 1991, and GCMG in 2001. Three years later, he was created a life peer as Baron Kerr of Kinlochard, of Kinlochard in Perth and Kinross. In the House of Lords he serves in the Economic and Financial Affairs Sub-Committee of the EU Select Committee.
He became a Director of Shell Transport and Trading in 2002, and chaired the group of Directors who brought about the creation in 2005 of Royal Dutch Shell plc, of which he was Deputy Chairman and Senior Independent Director until 2012. He has been a Director of the Scottish American Investment Trust since 2002, of Rio Tinto plc since 2003, and of Scottish Power Ltd since 2009. He became Deputy Chairman of Scottish Power in 2012.
He is a Trustee of the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, an Executive Committee member of the Trilateral Commission, and UK President of the UK/Korea Forum for the Future. He was Chairman of the Court and Council of Imperial College London from 2005 to 2011; a Trustee of the National Gallery from 2002 to 2010, and the Rhodes Trust from 1997 to 2010; and a Fulbright Commissioner from 2003 to 2009.
He is Chairman of the Centre for European Reform, Vice-President of the European Policy Centre, a Council member of Business for New Europe, and President of St Andrew's Clinics for Children.
He is also on the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group.
- Announcement of his introduction at the House of Lords House of Lords minutes of proceedings, 14 September 2004
Sir David Hannay
|UK Permanent Representative to the European Union
Sir Stephen Wall
Sir Robin Renwick
|British Ambassador to the United States
Sir Christopher Meyer
Sir John Coles
|Permanent Secretary of the
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sir Michael Jay