- Course: BA Geography
- Year of graduation: 2005
- Job title: Senior International Strategy Adviser
- Company: University of Oxford
After graduating with a 2:1 (Hons) in 2005, I moved to China. I worked in a number of roles in Beijing before returning to the UK where I was hired as Parliamentary Aide to a Member of Parliament. I joined the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in 2010.
In the Foreign Office, I initially advised on the UK government’s UN Peacekeeping policy, and quickly rose up the ranks, being promoted four times in eight years. I advised on Hong Kong policy in China Department, then on multilateral nuclear disarmament policy for the Counter-Proliferation and Security Policy Departments.
I headed up the UK’s Communication and Digital network across Middle East and North Africa in 2014, before being asked to help set up a new Middle East and North Africa Strategy Department where I was Deputy Head of Policy, focusing particularly on tackling Islamist Extremism.
I was posted to China in 2015. I led a large team of diplomatic staff working on energy and sustainable development, and was credited with influencing regional government policy in South China, helping to secure millions of pounds in trade wins for UK businesses. I was inducted into the Foreign Office’s Global Leadership Programme in 2016, and in 2017 I was promoted to head up the UK’s South China Regional Network.
During my time in the Foreign Office, I was a dedicated volunteer for the government’s overseas crisis response. I worked closely with the military to coordinate and plan the evacuation of British nationals from the desert in the 2011 Libya crisis. I also worked on the 2011 Japan earthquake (Fukushima disaster), Christchurch earthquake, and initial response to the Syria crisis, among others. I was deployed to assist British nationals caught up in the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict.
I left the Foreign Office in June 2018 to take up a position as Senior International Strategy Adviser to the University of Oxford, tasked with expanding the University of Oxford's global reach, reputation, and international engagement. I also advise Oxford’s leadership on innovations in the higher education sector, and am a Member of Congregation, the legislative body (or "Parliament") of the University of Oxford.
I was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) in 2018.
“My degree at Leeds opened my eyes to world and other cultures, opened doors by enabling me to get my first job in China, and helped me gain the core skills to be where I am today. I thoroughly enjoyed my time studying geography, especially the field trips. I wouldn’t have wished to go anywhere else.”