Mark Lyall Grant
After studying law at Cambridge and qualifying as a Barrister at Middle Temple in London, Ambassador Lyall Grant decided against a career in the legal profession and joined the FCO in 1980.
My first FCO job was dealing with Namibia in Southern Africa Department. This fired me with an interest in African issues, which I followed up sometime later as Private Secretary to the Minister for Africa, a posting as Deputy Head of Mission in Pretoria and then as Director for Africa 2000-2003. Apart from Africa, my other two career anchors have been;
- the EU. I served twice in the EU (Internal), including as Head of Department 1998-2000, once in EU (External), as Counsellor in the European Secretariat of the Cabinet Office and as First Secretary in Paris 1990-93;
- South Asia. After leaving London, I went on my first overseas posting as Second Secretary, Political, to Islamabad in 1982, and then returned as High Commissioner 2003-06. After returning from Islamabad the second time, I was Political Director in London from early 2007-October 2009.
My wife, Sheila, is also a member of the FCO Diplomatic Service, joining a week before I did in 1980. We met on our respective first postings in Islamabad in 1982. Most recently, she was Head of VIP Visits in Protocol Directorate in London. We have two grown up children.
My main interests outside work are golf, tennis and bridge.