Patrick Wright, Baron Wright of Richmond

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For other people named Patrick Wright, see Patrick Wright (disambiguation).

Patrick Richard Henry Wright, Baron Wright of Richmond GCMG (born 28 June 1931) is a retired British diplomat and former Head of HM Diplomatic Service.

Background[edit]

Patrick Wright, the son of Herbert and Rachel Wright, was educated at Marlborough College. Having served in the Royal Artillery in 1950 and 1951, he went up to Merton College, Oxford where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in literae humaniores in 1955.

Diplomatic career[edit]

He joined HM Diplomatic Service in 1955 and went to study Arabic at MECAS in the Lebanon from 1956 to 1957. He was posted as Third Secretary in the British Embassy in Beirut from 1958 to 1960. Between 1960 and 1965, he was Private Secretary to the Ambassador and First Secretary in the Washington DC Embassy, between 1965 and 1967 Private Secretary to the FCO's Permanent Under-Secretary of State (PUSS) and First Secretary and Head of Chancery in the British Embassy in Cairo between 1967 and 1970. Wright was Deputy Political Resident in Bahrain in 1971 and 1972, Head of Middle East Department in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1972 to 1974, and Private Secretary (Overseas Affairs) to two Prime Ministers, Harold Wilson and James Callaghan from 1974 to 1977. In 1977, Patrick Wright was appointed Ambassador to Luxembourg and to Syria in 1979, where he remained until 1981. He was Deputy Under-Secretary of State at the FCO from 1982 to 1984.

Sir Patrick Wright was appointed Ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1984 to 1986. For the next four years he combined the roles of PUS at the FCO and Head of HM Diplomatic Service until he retired in 1991.[1]

Post retirement[edit]

In 1991, Lord Wright became a Director of Barclays Bank until 1996, of British Petroleum (BP) until 2001, of De La Rue until 2000, of Unilever until 1999 and of BAA until 1998.

Between 1993 and 2002, he was a member of the Security Commission. He was a member of the Council of Chatham House (Royal Institute of International Affairs) from 1992 to 1999, and chairman from 1995 to 1999. He was Member of Council of Atlantic College between 1993 and 2000, and of the Royal College of Music from 1991 to 2001. Since 1986, Wright has been Governor of the Ditchley Foundation. From 1991 to 2001, he was a Governor of Wellington College, from 1991 to 1995 Registrar of the Most Venerable Order of St John of Jerusalem, and Director of Overseas Relations from 1995 to 1997. He is a founding trustee of the UK-based family support charity Home-Start International, of which he was Chairman from 2004 to 2007.[2]

Honours[edit]

In 1978, Wright was made a Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG), a Knight Commander (KCMG) in 1984, and a Knight Grand Cross (GCMG) in 1989. One year later he became a Knight of the Order of St John (KStJ). On 10 February 1994, he was created a life peer with the title Baron Wright of Richmond, of Richmond upon Thames in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.

Family[edit]

Patrick Wright married Virginia Anne Gaffney in 1958. They have two sons, Marcus (1959) and Angus (1964) and one daughter, Olivia (1963), who is married to Sir Simon McDonald, British Ambassador to Germany.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Diplomatic Service List 1989 (page 342), HMSO, ISBN 0-11-591707-1
  2. ^ "DodOnline". Retrieved 2006-12-04. 
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Sir Antony Arthur Acland
British Ambassador to Luxembourg
1977–1979
Succeeded by
Jeremy Thomas (British Diplomat)
Preceded by
Sir James Craig
British Ambassador to Syria
1979–1981
Succeeded by
Sir Roger Tomkys
Preceded by
Sir James Craig
British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
1984–1986
Succeeded by
Sir Stephen Egerton
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Antony Arthur Acland
Permanent Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs
1986–1991
Succeeded by
David Gillmore