British Saudi Society

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  • HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al-Saud: The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Kingdom and Ireland. He is a graduate of The School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, Washington DC and carried out postgraduate studies at the John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He is President of the Harvard Alumni Association of Saudi Arabia. Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he first worked in the Minister’s Cabinet before being promoted to Inspector General at the Ministry. Ambassador to Italy and Malta. In 1998 he was elected as President of the Council of Administration for the Islamic Cultural Centre of Italy. He was Dean of the Arab Ambassadors’ Corps.
  • The Rt Hon Lord Denman Senior Advisor to the Merchant Bridge and Co. Ltd.
  • Sir Alan Munro, KCMG: Joined the Diplomatic Service in 1958 after university and travelled to Lebanon to learn Arabic, and subsequently worked in Lebanon, Kuwait, Libya and Brazil as well as in the Foreign Office.

He had a spell in the Ministry of Defence looking after military cooperation with Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, before going to Algeria as ambassador in 1974. He was subsequently Under-Secretary of State for the Middle East and Africa and was British ambassador in Saudi Arabia from 1989 to 1993, a period which coincided with the Kuwait crisis.

Chairman of the Saudi-British Society and a vice-chairman of the Arab British Chamber of Commerce. He was a founding member of the Saudi-British Business Council and advises the Ministry of Defence on the UK/Saudi Al Yamamah Economic Offset Programme. He is also a director of Middle East International magazine and writes and broadcasts on Arab issues. He is author of a book, ‘Arab Storm’, on the politics and diplomacy behind the 1990-91 Kuwait crisis.

He has also been a governor of Imperial College in London and vice-chairman of the British Red Cross Society.

  • Susan Crane: Assistant Representative in the European Office of The National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia.
  • Christopher Jones is responsible for the petrochemical and heavy industry activities of the British Offset Office in London. Jones has been with BAE SYSTEMS and is now a member of the joint Ministry of Defence/BAE Systems team in London.
  • Ionis Thompson Society for Arabian Studies of which she is also the Honorary Secretary and the Saudi-British Society.
  • Khalid H Al Balawi : UK Manager for Saudi Arabian Airlines.
  • Mohammad Al-Shammary: Managing Director of Saudi Petroleum Overseas, Ltd - a UK based affiliate of Saudi Aramco.
  • Anthony Bailey is Chairman of Eligo International, a public affairs company, which advises government, diplomatic and corporate clients on a wide range of communications disciplines including lobbying, media relations, economic, trade, tourism, culture promotion, issues and crisis management. Chief Policy Adviser to the Board of Directors of the Foreign Policy Centre.
  • Hassan Khayat: From 2003 to date he has been serving as Saudi Arabia’s Commercial Attaché in London with responsibilities involving Saudi Arabia’s relations with the United Kingdom and other European counties. He was appointed in 1983 as Assistant Head of the Procurement and Contracts Department at the Jeddah Municipality until 1985. Afterwards, he moved on to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Jeddah Branch where he served in various positions. In 1995 he was appointed by the Ministry to serve as the Commercial Attaché based at the Saudi Embassy in Ankara, Turkey until 1998.
  • Michael Brigden is currently the Chief Representative in the European Office of The National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia. He is responsible for running the European marketing department within the bank. Prior to joining The National Commercial Bank, he worked for 29 years for The National Westminster Bank in the United Kingdom in a number of roles.
  • Brigadier Nicholas Cocking, joined the Army in 1954 and retired in 1992. During that time he served for four tours of duty in the Middle East. First was in 1960-61 when he was seconded to the Trucial Oman Scouts, where he first learnt Arabic at the British Army Language School in Aden. In 1963-64 he returned to the Arabian Peninsula with his Regiment (4RTR) where they were, inter alia, involved in the Radfan campaign in the Aden Protectorate. He joined the staff as GSO2 Intelligence to Commander British Forces Gulf in 1970-71. Finally he was seconded to The Saudi Arabian National Guard as Commander of the British Military Mission from 1984 to 1991 shortly after the War of Kuwait Liberation. He was awarded the King Abdulaziz Medal on his departure. Since retiring he has been active commercially within the Kingdom. He is a member of Chatham House and is active with their Middle East Forum, particularly when focused on Saudi interests.
  • Mu'awiya Derhalli has had a variety of careers in many fields: academia, broadcasting, personnel, education, and general management and prepared cross-cultural and country-based (mainly Middle Eastern countries) briefings. His occupations include: Lecturer in Arabic and Tutor in University College, Durham University, Presenter, talks producer of The BBC Arabic Service, and Arab countries national days programme producer and interviewer.

Mr Derhalli has occupied a variety of executive positions with the Kuwait Oil Company (BP and Gulf Oil) for sixteen years in Kuwait. They include: Principal of the Arabic Centre, General Superintendent of Training and Education, Director of Career Development and Personnel Manager (personnel, training, company schools and community affairs) and a member of the Management Committee. He also spent eleven years in the BP Head Office in London in the Personnel department providing University sponsorships, training services for Group and overseas associates. In addition he is a trustee of the Overseas Student Trust and a member of MI6's Sir Peter Parker's Committee. Mr Derhalli was a deputy Director, Course Coordinator and Director of Middle East briefing programmes for ten years at the Centre for International Briefing: Farnham Castle.

  • Caroline Montagu, Countess of Sandwich was a business journalist on the Middle East from 1979 and specialised in Saudi Arabia from 1981. In 1985 published Investment in Saudi Arabia, Opportunities for Joint Ventures, funded by COMET (Committee for Middle East Trade), which was the first British in-depth analysis of industrial development and of our EC partners’ positions on Saudi Arabia. In 1991 she wrote The Private Sector in Saudi Arabia, a COMET report. In 2001 she wrote Saudi Arabia: On the Road to Reform, funded by the DTI. In 2002 and 2003 she wrote reports for the MOD Economic Offset Department on Saudi British Offset and other topics and later in 2003 she wrote on Saudi women’s NGOs for the British Council. In 2005 co-authored report for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office on Needs and Capacities of the NGOs in Saudi Arabia. Currently a Committee member of the Saudi British Society, a member of the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce’s Consultative Committee on the Middle East; a member of the Saudi British Joint Business Council and a senior adviser for Women in Business International.
  • Tim Voase is Head of the Arabian Peninsula Team in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He was born in 1971 and grew up on the coast in Kent. After reading Modern History at Christ Church, Oxford, he joined the Army, serving in the Royal Engineers between 1993 and 2001. Voase joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2001, and has been posted to Islamabad as a political officer.

Mr Lawrence Edward Walker, LVO, OBE, joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1960 and was posted to Lebanon in 1963 to study Arabic at the Middle East Centre for Arabic Studies. Since then he has spent nearly all his Diplomatic Service career in the Middle East, promoting British exports. His postings include: Kuwait from1965 to 68 and from 1991 to 1992, Libya (1970-74), Bahrain (1976-1980), Iraq (1980-84), Turkey (1988-91) and Saudi Arabia where he served as Consul-General in Jeddah (1992-97).

He retired from the Diplomatic Service in 1997 and has been working ever since at the Middle East Association covering GCC countries, with a particular interest in Saudi Arabia. He has led several Middle East Association trade missions to Saudi Arabia and to the Gulf States in recent years. In 2003-2004 he was seconded from the Middle East Association to the Dept. of Trade and Industry as the Export Promoter for Saudi Arabia, advising and encouraging British companies in their efforts to undertake the Saudi market.