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Sir Simon Gass

Commandant Royal College of Defence Studies

Sir Simon Gass a Senior Associate Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute is Commandant of the Royal College of Defence Studies, based in London. Sir Simon  joins the MOD following a long and successful career as a British diplomat who has lead the development of national policy and strategy to address some of the most pressing international security challenges.  

As the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) Political Director, from 2012 to 2015, Sir Simon was responsible for policy on the Middle East, Russia, Africa, South and Central Asia, the United Nations and other international institutions.  He led the UK team at the prolonged E3+3 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) negotiations which resulted in the successful Iran Nuclear Agreement in July 2015. 

Before that Sir Simon held a range of policy and senior management posts within the FCO in London, and has extensive experience of diplomatic postings and secondments abroad.  The most notable include NATO’s Senior Civilian Representative to Afghanistan (2011-12) and British Ambassador to Iran (2009-11) and Greece (2004-09).  He was the Foreign Office’s Finance Director (2001-04) and a member of its Management Board for seven years. Sir Simon left the Foreign Office in 2016.