Edward Chaplin (diplomat)

Edward Graham Mellish Chaplin CMG OBE (born 21 February 1951) is a British diplomat, notable for serving as British ambassador in occupied Iraq from April 2004. Until January 2011 he served as British ambassador to Italy. He was the former Prime Minister's Appointments Secretary.[1]


Edward Chaplin

Chaplin in Basra, Iraq in 2004
Chaplin in Basra, Iraq in 2004
Her Majesty's Ambassador to Italy
In office
2006–2011
Preceded bySir Ivor Roberts
Succeeded byChristopher Prentice
Her Majesty's Ambassador to Iraq
In office
2004–2005
Preceded byBreak in diplomatic relations due to First Gulf War
Succeeded bySir William Patey
Her Majesty's Ambassador to Jordan
In office
2000–2002
Preceded byChristopher Battiscombe
Succeeded byChristopher Prentice
Personal details
Born (1951-02-21) 21 February 1951 (age 70)
NationalityBritish
Spouse(s)Nicola Helen Fisher
Children3 (1 son, 2 daughters)
EducationWellington College
Alma materQueens' College, Cambridge
OccupationDiplomat

Education and Personal lifeEdit

Chaplin was educated at Wellington College, an independent school near the village of Crowthorne in Berkshire, followed by Queens' College, Cambridge, from which he graduated with a BA 1st Class Hons. Degree in Oriental Studies, in 1973.

Married Nicola Helen Fisher. One son, 2 daughters.

Life and careerEdit

Chaplin headed the Middle East and North Africa department at the Foreign Office in the 80s, notably being briefly detained and assaulted by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in 1987.[2][3]

Chaplin represented UK at the Nasiriyah conference, where he declared, in April 2003:

The military task is almost completed (...) Our vision for Iraq's future is simply to restore it to its natural place: united, at peace with itself and its neighbours, enjoying effective representative government, playing a leading role in the affairs of the Arab nation and the international community. (...) The Interim Iraqi Authority will put in place a consultative process to decide on the electoral process and the new political structures that best serve the interest of the Iraqi people [4]

In April 2004, after the Invasion of Iraq, Chaplin was appointed ambassador to the Iraqi Governing Council in occupied Iraq.

Chaplin was one of the witnesses of The Iraq Inquiry.

Career highlightsEdit

  • 1973 Entered FCO
  • 1975–77 Muscat
  • 1977–78 Brussels
  • 1978–79 École Nationale d'Administration, Paris
  • 1979–81 On secondment to CSD as Private Secretary to Lord President of the Council, Leader of the House of Lords
  • 1981–84 FCO
  • 1985–87 Head of Chancery, Tehran
  • 1987–89 FCO
  • 1990–92 On secondment to Price Waterhouse Management Consultants, 1990–92
  • 1992–96 Deputy Permanent Representative, UKMIS Geneva
  • 1997–99 Head, Middle East Department, FCO
  • 2000–02 Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
  • 2002–04 Director, Middle East and N Africa, FCO
  • 2004–05 Ambassador to Iraq
  • 2005–06 Visiting Fellow, Centre of International Studies, University of Cambridge
  • 2006–11 Ambassador to Italy

On 1 December 2009, Chaplin gave evidence to The Iraq Inquiry in which he spoke about post-war planning for Iraq.[5]

Sources and referencesEdit

  1. ^ CHAPLIN, Edward Graham Mellish. Who's Who 2016. A & C Black. 2015. Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  2. ^ Key people for post-conflict Iraq, The Guardian.
  3. ^ Lang, Olivia (30 November 2011). "BBC News: Iran and Britain dispute exposes turbulent history". Retrieved 30 November 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Edward Chaplin: Britain understands Iraq's history, The Independent, 18 April 2003
  5. ^ "US neglected post-war planning for Iraq, inquiry told". BBC News. 1 December 2009. Retrieved 28 January 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  • Who's Who 2009
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
British Ambassador to Iraq
2004–2005
Succeeded by
Sir William Patey
Preceded by
Christopher Battiscombe
British Ambassador to Jordan
2000–2002
Succeeded by
Christopher Prentice
Preceded by
Sir Ivor Roberts
British Ambassador to Italy
2006–2011
Succeeded by
Christopher Prentice