Paul Rennie OBE | Speakers for Schools

Paul Rennie OBE

Head of the Global Economy Group, British Embassy in Washington DC & Former Director for Diplomacy 20:20, FCO

Paul Rennie is the Head of the Global Economy Group at the British Embassy, Washington DC, leading the UK’s climate and energy, economic and trade, and science and technology networks across the United States. Prior to that, he led the Foreign Office’s strategic transformation programme, focused on delivering a 21st century Diplomatic Service.

Paul was born in Edinburgh and educated at George Heriot’s School, before going on to graduate with an MA in Economics and Politics (Edinburgh University) and an MSc in Economics (York University).

He joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2001 as the first of a new group of Diplomatic Service Economists. He has served at the United Nations (New York), Brazil, India and Malaysia, as well as working on secondment to the Cabinet Office and the Department for International Development.
Paul is a professional economist, with a particular expertise the analysis of emerging markets and the international education sector, presenting on the future of education at several international conferences. In 2019 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Heriot-Watt University in recognition of his ‘expertise and contributions to the development and strategic positioning of UK education overseas’.

He was appointed Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s 2015 New Year’s Honours List for services to UK-India relations.
Away from work and family, Paul writes blogs on leadership, plays tennis, and tries to read as many history and politics books as his spare time will allow. He speaks English, Portuguese, Dutch, French and Hindi.

• 2018 to 2020: Director Diplomacy 20:20, Change and Networks, Foreign & Commonwealth Office
• 2014 to 2018: Deputy High Commissioner, Malaysia
• 2011 to 2014: Head of the Political Department, British High Commission, India
• 2009 to 2010: Senior Programme Manager, Department for International Development, India
• 2008 to 2009: Head of G8/G20 Team, Cabinet Office
• 2006 to 2008: Private Secretary to the Cabinet Secretary, Lord O’Donnell
• 2003 to 2006: Head of the Economic Department, British Embassy, Brazil
• 2002: temporary duty, UK Mission to the United Nations, New York
• 2001 to 2002: Desk Officer, Economic Policy Department of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office