Roger Stevens (diplomat)

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Sir Roger Bentham Stevens, GCMG (8 June 1906 – 20 February 1980) was a British academic, diplomat and civil servant.


Stevens was born 8 June 1906. He was eductaed at Wellington College and Queen's College, Oxford.[1] He married his first wife, Constance Hallam Hipwell (died 1976), in 1931, and they later had a son, Bryan Constant Sebastian Bentham Stevens. His second wife was Jane Chandler (née Irving), whom he married in 1977. He died on 20 February 1980, and she deposited his papers in the Churchill Archives, University of Cambridge in 1984.[2]

Diplomatic career[edit]

In 1928 Stevens entered the UK Consular Service, serving in Buenos Aires, New York City, Antwerp, Denver, and the Foreign Office in London.

In 1951 he was appointed British Ambassador to Sweden, then in 1954, British Ambassador to Persia. He wrote two books on Persia, The Land of the Great Sophy (1962) and First View of Persia (1964), and continued to contribute to academic journals on the same subject in later life. In 1958 he returned to London as Deputy Under-Secretary of State, Foreign Office, until 1963.[2]

Other activities[edit]

In 1963 he took up the position of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds which he held until 1970.[3] Other positions were:[2]


The Roger Stevens building at the University of Leeds.

Stevens was a KCMG and later GCMG.[4] He is commemorated in the Roger Stevens Building on the campus of Leeds University.


  1. ^ ‘STEVENS, Sir Roger Bentham’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2016
  2. ^ a b c Churchill Archives The papers of Sir Roger Stevens
  3. ^ University of Leeds Former Vice-Chancellors
  4. ^ London Gazette 1 January 1964
  • D. Wright (1981) Iran, Vol. 19, pp. iii–iv Sir Roger Stevens, G.C.M.G.
Academic offices
Preceded by
Charles Morris
Vice-Chancellor, University of Leeds
Succeeded by
Edward Boyle