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Keynote speaker Sir John Jenkins is the Executive Director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, ISS Middle East, and a former British Diplomat. During his service, he has been ambassador to several countries. His geopolitical knowledge and experience enable him to give unique insights into political situations and strategies.
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Former diplomat & political Expert
Sir John Jenkins is currently Executive Director of The International Institute for Strategic Studies – Middle East. After his studies at the Jesus College, Cambridge, he furthermore studied at The School of Oriental and African Studies in London where he acquired knowledge skills in Arabic and Burmese.
He joined the FCO in 1980 and served in various diplomatic positions in Abu Dhabi, Malaysia and Kuwait before being appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Burma from 1999 until 2002. He was subsequently HM Consul-General, Jerusalem, Ambassador to Syria, FCO Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Ambassador to Iraq, Special Representative to the National Transitional Council and subsequently Ambassador to Libya until 2011.
In his last position before retirement from Diplomatic Service in 2015, Sir John Jenkins was the British Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He took an active part in Sir John Chilcott’s Iraq Inquiry and was asked by the Prime Minister in March 2014 to lead a Policy Review into the Muslim Brotherhood and Political Islamism. Until his departure from the FCO he was the government’s senior diplomatic Arabist.
He was created a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order in 1989, a Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 2007 and a Knight Commander of the same order (KCMG) in 2012.
After a 35 year long career in international politics Sir John Jenkins can talk about almost any topic related to the countries he served in. His special interest lies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its relations to neighbouring countries. Sir John Jenkins is a charismatic speaker who is very confident with foreign politics, the Arab countries and political Islam.
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