Celebrating Britain's 101 Most Influential Asians 2024

© Asian Media Group - 2024


Kumar Iyer


AS A child, top economist and diplomat Kumar Iyer never envisioned himself in a national level strategic role. However, in recent years, he has found himself doing precisely that. Serving as the director-general for economics, science, and technology at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FC DO), Iyer has been leading all cross-cutting work on international economic policy, including overlooking UK’s sanctions regime and business relations with other countries. Iyer is currently on a short sabbatical from his role as director-general at the FCDO.

Replacing the original Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the new FCDO was created by Boris Johnson’s government – in 2020 – to look after international affairs, development, and diplomacy – and is primarily aimed at promoting the UK’s national interests and contribute positively to the world. The reorganisation came about as many within the Conservative party were critical of the former Department for International Development (DfID) and wanted its role to be abolished and brought to fit in with the UK’s wider foreign policy objectives. Among the FCDO’s crucial responsibilities are safeguarding the UK’s national security by countering terrorism, enhancing prosperity through increased exports and investment, opening markets, ensuring access to resources, and providing modern and efficient consular services to support British nationals worldwide. Iyer had been a director-general at the FCDO since its formation in 2020.

Iyer’s recent body of work involves strengthening sanctions policy to support war-torn Ukraine and weakening Russia by collaborating with other countries’ governments. He recently visited Georgia to ensure that its partnership with the UK continues to prevent battlefield goods from reaching Russia. He was also in volved in strengthening and improving the overall effectiveness of the sanctions policy against the Russian Federation. Apart from being primarily responsible for the country’s sanctions regime, he also over looks development policy and trade,

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