Simon Gass


Sir Simon Lawrance Gass KCMG CVO (born 2 November 1956) is a British civil servant. Since 2019, he has been appointed as Chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee. Between 2018 and 2019, he was the Commandant of the Royal College of Defence Studies. During his diplomatic career, he served as British ambassador to Greece and to Iran.

Sir Simon Gass

Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee
Assumed office
June 2019
Interim: February 2019 - June 2019
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Boris Johnson
Preceded byCharles Farr
British Ambassador to Iran
In office
2009–2011
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
David Cameron
Preceded bySir Geoffrey Adams
Succeeded byDominick Chilcott
British Ambassador to Greece
In office
2004–2009
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Gordon Brown
Preceded bySir David Madden
Succeeded byDavid Landsman
Personal details
Born (1956-11-02) 2 November 1956 (age 64)
Spouse(s)Marianne Enid Stott (1980–present)
Children3
Alma materUniversity of Reading

Career


Ambassador to Iran

He was British Ambassador to Iran 2009–11. He arrived in post during the Spring of 2009 from his previous posting in Greece and was present during the June 2009 protests following the disputed re-election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.

Following these events Gass posted his views from Tehran on the social networking site Twitter, commenting on the Iranian regime's record on human rights, political prisoners and freedom of speech. His 'tweets' are shared widely by Iranian reformists and diaspora across the web as well as being featured in mainstream media.[3] In January 2011, Gass passed the 1000 follower mark, making him one of the most followed diplomats on Twitter.

In December 2010, Gass's digital activities caused mild uproar among Iranian politicians, who called for his expulsion after he highlighted the case of human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh in an article posted on the British Embassy in Iran website. The statement was released on International Human Rights Day and criticised Iran's human rights record.[4] The Foreign and Commonwealth Office defended Gass's comments, which gained widespread approval from his Iranian reformist followers on Twitter.

NATO and FCO

In February 2011 Gass was seconded to NATO as Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan.[5] After serving in this post for 18 months he returned to the FCO in London as Director General, Political, and the Prime Minister's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.[6] He retired from the FCO in 2016.

Honours


In the 1998 Queen's Birthday Honours, Gass was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG). In the 2011 New Year Honours, he was promoted to Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG).[7]

References