Andrew Whyte prepares for top Foreign & Commonwealth Office comms role

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office's incoming comms director has said the 'changing nature of Britain in the world' will be among his priorities when he starts work in his new role next month.

Andrew Whyte: preparing for FCO
Andrew Whyte: preparing for FCO

Andrew Whyte will join the FCO in October (, 3 September). He has headed comms at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs since June 2009.

Whyte will oversee a central comms team of 100, along with about 300 people in the FCO's global network.

Whyte said: 'There will be a big change agenda in government and the role that comms plays will be important. One element is looking at the changing nature of Britain in the world, and all of that in the context of clearing the deficit.'

He added that Pakistan and Afghanistan would also continue to be comms priorities.

Whyte's main responsibilities will be to oversee the department's press office, internal comms and digital presence. He will also be involved with strategic comms and the FCO's public diplomacy work.

Former FCO director of comms Lucian Hudson said Whyte would be expected to back up Foreign Secretary William Hague's own priorities of security, prosperity and serving British nationals overseas.

Hudson, who now works as head of crisis management at comms agency TLG, added: 'This job has always been about both supporting the foreign secretary of the day and building an international capability to influence decision-making globally and locally.'

Whyte also worked as executive director, advocacy and comms at Arts Council England. He replaces Ian Hargreaves, a former editor of The Independent, who left the FCO in May to handle a portfolio of freelance work.

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