Simon Gass

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Sir Simon Gass

Simon Gass.jpg
Director General, Political, Foreign & Commonwealth Office
In office
January 2013 – 2016
Preceded byMark Sedwill
Succeeded byKaren Pierce
NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan
In office
Preceded byMark Sedwill
Succeeded byMaurits Jochems
British Ambassador to Iran
In office
Preceded bySir Geoffrey Adams
Succeeded byDominick Chilcott
British Ambassador to Greece
In office
Preceded bySir David Madden
Succeeded byDavid Landsman
Personal details
Born (1956-11-02) 2 November 1956 (age 62)
Spouse(s)Marianne Enid Stott (1980–present)
Alma materUniversity of Reading

Sir Simon Lawrance Gass KCMG CVO (born 2 November 1956) is a former British diplomat. Since 2019, he has been appointed as Chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee . Since 2018, he has been Commandant of the Royal College of Defence Studies. During his diplomatic career, he served as British ambassador to Greece and to Iran.


Ambassador to Iran[edit]

He was British Ambassador to Iran 2009–11. He arrived in post during the Spring of 2009 from his previous posting in Greece and was present during the June 2009 protests following the disputed re-election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.

Following these events Gass posted his views from Tehran on the social networking site Twitter, commenting on the Iranian regime's record on human rights, political prisoners and freedom of speech. His 'tweets' are shared widely by Iranian reformists and diaspora across the web as well as being featured in mainstream media.[3] In January 2011, Gass passed the 1000 follower mark, making him one of the most followed diplomats on Twitter.

In December 2010, Gass's digital activities caused mild uproar among Iranian politicians, who called for his expulsion after he highlighted the case of human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh in an article posted on the British Embassy in Iran website. The statement was released on International Human Rights Day and criticised Iran's human rights record.[4] The Foreign and Commonwealth Office defended Gass's comments, which gained widespread approval from his Iranian reformist followers on Twitter.

NATO and FCO[edit]

In February 2011 Gass was seconded to NATO as Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan.[5] After serving in this post for 18 months he returned to the FCO in London as Director General, Political, and the Prime Minister's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.[6] He retired from the FCO in 2016.


In the 1998 Queen's Birthday Honours, Gass was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG). In the 2011 New Year Honours, he was promoted to Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG).[7]


  1. ^ "Sir Simon Gass appointed as new Commandant Royal College of Defence Studies". Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Joint Intelligence Committee Chair appointed: Sir Simon Gass". Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  3. ^ Britain's Ambassador sends angry Tweet ..., Metro Online, 13 August 2010
  4. ^ Iranian politicians call for UK ambassador recall, BBC News, 13 December 2010
  5. ^ NATO Secretary General appoints new Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan, 9 February 2011
  6. ^ Simon Gass,
  7. ^ "No. 59647". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2010. p. 3.

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Tom Phillips
Commandant of the Royal College of Defence Studies
Succeeded by