ALEX ELLIS, a British strategic expert, will take charge as the new UK high commissioner to India, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) announced on Tuesday (5).
The civil servant has been serving as deputy national security adviser in the Cabinet Office for the UK government’s integrated review on diplomacy, development and defence.
In his new role, which will see him based in New Delhi, he will succeed Sir Philip Barton, who moved back to the UK last year to take charge of the newly-expanded FCDO as its permanent under-secretary.
“Mr Alex Ellis CMG has been appointed British high commissioner to the Republic of India in succession to Sir Philip Barton KCMG OBE. Mr Ellis will take up his appointment during January 2021,” the FCDO statement said.
Ellis, 53, is described as having experience in security issues and strategy, including as director general responsible for the UK and European Union (EU) security partnership, international agreements with the UK’s closest partners, and domestic and EU engagement on Brexit in the erstwhile Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU).
He has served as British ambassador to Brazil between 2013 and 2017 and as ambassador to Portugal between 2007 and 2010. Ellis was also director of strategy in the Foreign Office, responsible for developing new tools for improving FCO and government policy.
Previously, as a member of the cabinet of the president of the European Commission, he was responsible for energy, climate change, competition, development, trade and strategy. He also represented the UK in the EU, working on negotiations to establish the euro, and the seven-year budget, among others.
Ellis, who worked in the British Embassy in Madrid, Spain, started his career as part of the team supporting the transition to multi-party democracy in South Africa, following the release from prison of Nelson Mandela.
Prior to his civil service work, he was a history teacher. His other interests include singing in a choir, music, theatre and sports.
He is married to Teresa Adegas, and they have one son, Tomás.