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Tuesday 28 January 2003

Sir David Blatherwick KCMG OBE British Chairman of Encounter

24 January 2003

The Prime Minister announced today the appointment of Sir David Blatherwick as the new British Joint Chairman of Encounter. Sir David, a former British Ambassador to Ireland, will succeed Sir Nicholas Fenn, who retires after five years of service to the British-Irish non-governmental organisation. The appointment will take immediate effect.

Notes for Editors

  1. Encounter was established in 1983 by the British and Irish Governments ‘to contribute to the improvement of relations between their peoples, in the interests of peace, reconciliation and stability’. It organises conferences and seminars on a wide range of topics of common interest to experts, opinion formers and youth groups in both countries. Recent topics for conferences have included, "Living in a Multi-Cultural Society" (youth conference) "Enterprise and the Entrepreneurial Culture" and "Transport in these Islands".
  2. Encounter is independently run but part-funded jointly by both Governments. It also attracts outside sponsorship for its conferences. It has a British Joint Chair and an Irish Joint Chair and a Board of 20 Members drawn from Ireland and across the whole of the United Kingdom, including academics, journalists and businesspeople. The Chairs serve in a voluntary capacity, as does the Board.

Biographical Details

Sir David Blatherwick, a former career diplomat, retired from HM Diplomatic Service in 1999. His career took him to Kuwait, New York, Ireland and Egypt. He has long experience of Irish affairs. Sir David is currently Chairman of the British Egyptian Chamber of Commerce and of the Middle East Association. As British Joint Chairman he will take the helm of an organisation which has contributed at working level to the improvement of relations between the UK and Ireland since it was established in 1983.

Born in 1941, educated at Lincoln School and Wadham College, Oxford University. Joined Foreign Office 1964. Counsellor, UK Mission to UN, New York 1986-89; Principal Finance Officer and Chief Inspector 1989-91; Ambassador to Ireland 1991-95; Ambassador to Egypt 1995-99.

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