Nicola Bowles will start the new role in December and will oversee a team of 22, working as part of the FCO’s senior management team.
Her role will involve advising ministers and the FCO board – comprising the department’s top officials – on internal communication strategy and stakeholder engagement. She will report to Lucian Hudson, FCO director of communications.
Bowles replaces Sarah Kline, who left the FCO in July to take the role of head of ministerial communications at the Department for International Development.
Hudson said of Bowles: ‘She’s a very talented person with an interesting track record. Working in the energy sector, she will be familiar with some of the crucial issues affecting the FCO. In particular she has proven her ability at handling high-profile regulatory issues.’
Bowles is currently head of communications at the Energy Retail Association, which represents domestic electricity and gas suppliers in Great Britain.
t is understood the association has yet to appoint a replacement for Bowles.
Before joining the Energy Retail Association, Bowles spent three years in Brussels as associate manager at APCO Europe where she led communications campaigns targeting European institutions, NGOs and media.
Bowles has also worked in the retail and pharmaceuticals sectors, handling regulatory issues with the media, stakeholders and internal audiences.