Sir Nicholas Fenn GCMG became President
on 11th June 1997 (see report).
He is now chief executive
in the charity Marie Curie Cancer Care, after 37 years in the British diplomatic
service - 8 of them in Burma.
Burma was his first post,
serving as vice-consul in Mandalay, and studying the Burmese language there with John
Okell. He went on to the job of Third Secretary in Rangoon and then
to a lot of extremely prestigious posts for such a young man, serving as
Assistant Private Secretary to four British Foreign Secretaries in succession:
"Rab" Butler, Patrick Gordon Walker, Michael Stewart and George
Brown. There followed diplomatic posts in Algeria and the UN.
He was then deputy head of the Energy Department at the Foreign Office
during the first oil crisis, and Counsellor in Peking at the end of the
Cultural Revolution. From 1979-82 he was Foreign Office Spokesman
- which made him the first source on foreign policy for both the Rhodesian
and Falklands crises.
Then came his period as British
Ambassador in Burma, from 1982-86. After that he spent a period as
ambassador in Eire, before moving to one of the most prestigious diplomatic
posts of all - High Commissioner in India from 1991-96.
Sir Nicholas was born in 1936
and trained as an RAF pilot (1954-56) before studying medieval history
at Peterhouse college, in Cambridge. He is married, with three grown
up children. Lady Fenn read Biochemistry at St Andrews and worked
in cancer research for a year before accompanying her husband to Mandalay.
She is a Justice of the Peace in Maidstone, Kent. According to Sir
Nicholas, she is the gardener, and he is the navvy; he cannot tell a daffodil
from a dandelion, but when she says "dig", he digs. He
is a keen amateur sailor. They share an interest in history, politics,
travel, hill-walking, amateur dramatics and active church membership.