William Patey

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Sir William Patey
Her Majesty's Ambassador to Afghanistan
In office
Preceded byMark Sedwill
Succeeded byRichard Stagg
Personal details
Born (1953-07-11) 11 July 1953 (age 65)
Spouse(s)Vanessa Morrell
Alma materUniversity of Dundee

Sir William Charters Patey, KCMG (born 11 July 1953)[1] is a former British Ambassador to Afghanistan (2010–2012).[2] Sir William retired from HM Diplomatic Service, and was replaced by Sir Richard Stagg, formerly British High Commissioner to India, in April 2012.[3] Patey previously served as Ambassador to Sudan, Ambassador to Iraq and Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.[1][4] Sir William is a Patron of the charity Kids for Kids, helping children in rural areas of Darfur, Sudan.[5][6]

Early life[edit]

He attended Trinity Academy, Edinburgh, Scotland until 1971. He earned a Master of Arts (MA) from the University of Dundee in Dundee, Scotland.[7]


He joined the FCO in 1975. He went to the Middle East Centre for Arabic Studies (MECAS) from 1977-8. From 2005-6 he was the Ambassador to Iraq and from 2002-5 the Ambassador to Sudan. Patey gave evidence to The Iraq Inquiry on 24 November 2009 and 5 January 2010.[8][9] From May 2010 to April 2012, Patey was the British Ambassador of Afghanistan at the British Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.[7]

He joined Control Risks as Government and International Relations Adviser in July 2012 and became a non executive Director of HSBC Bank Middle East on 10 July 2012.[10] Justifying British support for, and arms sales to, serial human rights violators in the Middle East in November 2012—that is, even in the face of the Arab Spring—Patey said, "The people in the Gulf will say, 'you of all people should understand why evolutionary change is better than revolutionary change'," referring to European revolutions.[11]

He was appointed Chairman of Swindon Town F.C. on 15 October 2012.[12]

Patey is a Governor and Distinguished Fellow of New Westminster College in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada .[7]


Already a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG), Patey was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in the 2009 New Year Honours List.[13]

Personal life[edit]

He married Vanessa Morrell in 1978. They have two sons William Rory and Thomas. Patey is an avid cinema goer.[6]


  1. ^ a b "UK In Saudi Arabia — Our Ambassador — Career History". Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Retrieved 2009-02-07.
  2. ^ "William Patey appointed as new British Ambassador to Afghanistan". Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Retrieved 2010-07-02.
  3. ^ "Changes to Her Majesty's Ambassador to Afghanistan". Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Retrieved 2012-01-08.
  4. ^ James Sturcke (2006-08-03). "Civil war warning blow to Blair". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-02-07.
  5. ^ "Welcome to Kids For Kids! Act now to help children in villages in Darfur". Retrieved 22 November 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Sir William Patey, KCMG". Debrett's. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
  7. ^ a b c "newwestminstercollege.ca Sir William Patey". Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  8. ^ "Iraq inquiry told of 'clear' threat from Saddam Hussein". BBC News. BBC. 24 November 2009. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
  9. ^ "Former Iraq ambassador queries post-war ambition". BBC News. BBC. 5 January 2010. Retrieved 29 January 2010.
  10. ^ http://newwestminstercollege.ca/page-9/
  11. ^ Abbas, Mohammed (2 November 2012). "Arab Spring jitters complicate British-Gulf ties". Reuters. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  12. ^ "Change of chairman at Swindon Town". Swindon Advertiser. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  13. ^ "No. 58929". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2008. p. 2.