Dominic Asquith

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Sir Dominic Asquith
Sir Jeremy Greenstock, Dr Safa al-Sheikh Hussein, Sir Dominic Asquith (left to right) (8571273145) crop, Asquith.jpg
Asquith at Chatham House in 2013
British High Commissioner to India
In office
April 2016 – January 2020
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Boris Johnson
Preceded bySir James Bevan
Succeeded bySir Philip Barton
British Ambassador to Libya
In office
2011–2012
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded bySir John Jenkins
Succeeded byMichael Aron
British Ambassador to Egypt
In office
2007–2011
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Gordon Brown
David Cameron
Preceded bySir Derek Plumbly
Succeeded byJames Watt
British Ambassador to Iraq
In office
2006–2007
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byWilliam Patey
Succeeded byChristopher Prentice
Personal details
Born (1957-02-07) 7 February 1957 (age 65)
Spouse(s)
Louise Cotton
(m. 1988)
Children4
Parents
RelativesRaymond Asquith, 3rd Earl of Oxford and Asquith (brother)
Sir Michael Palairet (grandfather)
H. H. Asquith (great-grandfather)
EducationAmpleforth College

Sir Dominic Anthony Gerard Asquith KCMG (born 7 February 1957) is a British career diplomat and former Ambassador to Iraq, Egypt, and Libya. He was First Secretary at the British Embassy in Washington DC. He was most recently the British High Commissioner to the Republic of India.[1]

Background and education[edit]

Asquith is the younger son of The 2nd Earl of Oxford and Asquith and Anne (born Palairet). He was a great-grandson of H. H. Asquith, the former British Prime Minister. Asquith's elder brother Raymond, father Lord Oxford, and maternal grandfather Sir Michael Palairet, all served as British diplomats. Like his father and brother, he was educated at Ampleforth College.

In 1975 he was involved in the Musa Alami project in the West Bank, Palestine, and worked as a researcher at the Institute of Palestine Studies in Beirut.

In 1981 he worked as a freelance journalist in Amman, Jordan and then as the Executive Secretary to the Parliamentary Association for Euro-Arab Co-operation in London, until 1983.

Diplomatic career[edit]

Asquith joined HM Diplomatic Service in 1983 as part of the Soviet department and served at Damascus, Muscat, Washington, D.C., Buenos Aires and Riyadh before being appointed Deputy Head of Mission in Iraq in 2004, Director of the Iraq Directorate at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office 2004–06 and Ambassador to Iraq 2006–07. He was Ambassador to Egypt 2007–11 and Ambassador to Libya 2011–12.

On 4 December 2009, Asquith gave evidence before Parliament to The Iraq Inquiry.[2]

Asquith survived an assassination attempt in June 2012 when a British convoy was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.[3] In September 2012 Asquith had to extend a routine break from Libya for medical treatment[4] and in January 2013 he was officially replaced by Michael Aron.[5]

Asquith was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in 2004,[6] and knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George in the 2012 New Year Honours.[7][8]

After spending a few years in the private sector, Asquith returned to diplomatic life, taking charge as High Commissioner to India in April 2016.[9] He concluded his four-year stint in India[10] in January 2020.[9]

Outside work[edit]

In May 2013 Asquith took an unpaid position leading a trade delegation to Libya organised by the Libyan British Business Council.[11]

In June 2013 Sir Dominic took a paid position as senior consultant with Tatweer Research, a Libyan research and development company, specialising in technology and engineering.[12]

Career overview[edit]

  • 1983–1984 Diplomat, Soviet Dept
  • 1984–1985 Diplomat, Southern Europe Dept
  • 1986–1987 Second Secretary, Damascus, Syria
  • 1987–1989 First Secretary (Chancery), Muscat
  • 1989–1990 Diplomat, EC Dept (Internal) Dept
  • 1990–1992 Private Secretary to Minister of State FCO
  • 1992–1996 First Secretary, Washington DC, USA
  • 1996 Drugs and International Crime Dept FCO
  • 1997–2001 Minister and Dep Head of Mission, Buenos Aires
  • 2001–2004 Deputy Head of Mission and Consul-General, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • 2004 Deputy Special Representative for Iraq, and Deputy Head of Mission, Baghdad, Iraq
  • 2004–2006 Director Iraq, FCO
  • 2006–2007 HM Ambassador to Iraq
  • 2007–2011 HM Ambassador to Egypt
  • 2011–2012 UK Special Representative, then Ambassador, to Libya
  • 2013–2015 Senior Advisor, Dentons LLP
  • 2016–2020 British High Commissioner to India

Personal life[edit]

Asquith was married in 1988 to Louise Cotton, who had worked as a secretary in the British Foreign Office and resigned upon her marriage. Sir Dominic and Lady Asquith have four children:[13][14]

  • Gabriela Elizabeth Louise Asquith (born 1989)
  • Helena Lucy Anne Asquith (born 1990)
  • Thomas Anthony Gerard Asquith (born 1992)
  • William Raphael Augustine Asquith (born 1994)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sir Dominic Asquith KCMG".
  2. ^ Transcript of Dominic Asquith Archived 20 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Iraq Inquiry, 7 December 2009
  3. ^ Al-Tommy, Mohammed (11 June 2012). "British envoy's convoy ambushed in Libya, two wounded". Reuters.
  4. ^ Michael Aron, formerly Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Iraq, will be temporarily replacing Sir Dominic Asquith as Acting Head of Mission in Libya, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 13 September 2012
  5. ^ Change of Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Libya, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 14 January 2013
  6. ^ Honours and Awards Archived 4 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "No. 60009". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2011. p. 3.
  8. ^ New Year Honours List 2012: full list, Telegraph.co.uk
  9. ^ a b Canton, Naomi (3 August 2020). "Shortest serving UK High Commissioner ever quits after 3 weeks". The Times of India. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  10. ^ "UK appoints Philip Barton as High Commissioner to India". The Week. 6 February 2020. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  11. ^ ACOBA Asquith LBBC Archived 23 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, 12 April 2013
  12. ^ ACOBA Asquith Tatweer Archived 24 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 26 June 2013
  13. ^ ASQUITH, Hon. Sir Dominic (Anthony Gerard), Who's Who 2013, A & C Black, 2013; online edn, Oxford University Press
  14. ^ The Peerage, entry for Hon Sir Dominic Asquith
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by British Ambassador to Iraq
2006–2007
Succeeded by
Preceded by British Ambassador to Egypt
2007–2011
Succeeded by
Preceded by British Ambassador to Libya
2011–2012
Succeeded by
Preceded by British High Commissioner to India
2016–2020
Succeeded by

External links[edit]