Michael Ryder is the UK’s Special Representative for Sudan. He works jointly for FCO and DFID Ministers and supervises the joint FCO/DFID Sudan Unit with the aim of securing durable and peaceful resolutions to Sudan’s multiple conflicts and sustainable development throughout the country. He works closely with the African Union and the United Nations, who jointly lead the international community’s efforts, and with counterparts from other key countries and organisations.
Michael was a historian at Cambridge and Johns Hopkins Universities in his early career, but has been a member of the Diplomatic Service since the early 1980s. He has a long record of working on conflict-related issues in London and overseas, most recently in Afghanistan where he was the UK Senior Civilian Representative in Helmand in 2008 and in 2006-7 was Minister and Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Kabul . In 2003-4 Michael was head of the FCO’s Iraq Inquiry Unit and subsequently Deputy Secretary of the Butler Inquiry into Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. Earlier positions included Special Representative for International Drugs Issues and head of the FCO’s Security Policy Department, dealing with international defence and security. In the mid-1990s Michael served in the UK Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels where he was responsible for the former Yugoslavia and the EU’s common foreign and security policy. In the 1980s his focus was on East-West relations in the FCO’s Soviet Department, in the British Military Government Berlin and as desk officer for west Germany when the Berlin Wall fell.
Michael is married to a Doctor and has two children.