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Sir Anthony Brenton

Sir Tony Brenton worked for over 30 years for the Foreign Office. He first learnt Arabic and spent three years in Cairo working on the Middle East Dispute. From 1980 to 1989 he handled European matters in London and in Brussels, working on energy issues and the birth of European environment policy. Back in London he ran UN issues in the Foreign Office and took charge of preparation for the 1992 ‘Earth Summit’ which achieved the first global agreement on Climate Change. After a year at Harvard (writing a book about international environment policy – ‘The Greening of Machiavelli’) he learnt Russian and spent 1994-1998 in Moscow dealing with Russian economic reform. After a further period in London on UN matters (including the establishment of the International Criminal Court) he was posted in 2001 to Washington dealing with the consequences of 9/11, the Afghanistan war and the Iraq war. In 2004 he was posted to Moscow as Ambassador where he has had to manage Britain’s turbulent relations with Russia over the past few years.

Since his retirement from the Foreign Office in 2009 he has held various business consultancies and directorships including to Lloyds insurance Market and the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce. He is also Chairman of Governors of the Leys and St Faith’s Foundation, and was an Honorary Fellow of Wolfson College 2010-17

He was awarded a KCMG in 2007. He is now a Senior Fellow of the Cambridge Department of Politics and International Studies, and a Fellow Commoner of Queens’ College. He has edited a book (“Historically Inevitable?”) on the Russian revolution, lectures for the Arts Society on Russian art, and is a regular press commentator on Russia and international affairs.