iOS app Android app

Sir Peter Westmacott
GET UPDATES FROM Sir Peter Westmacott
Sir Peter Westmacott, GCMG, LVO was British Ambassador to the United States from January 2012 until January 2016. He then became resident fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School for a semester and moved back to the UK in May 2016. He previously served as the British Embassy’s Counsellor for Political and Public Affairs in the mid-1990s. Prior to his appointment as Ambassador to the United States, Peter Westmacott served as British Ambassador to France—from 2007 to 2011—and as Ambassador to Turkey starting in 2002. His forty-year career in the British Diplomatic Service also included postings in Tehran and Brussels, time as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Director for the Americas, and a seat on the board of the Foreign Office as Deputy Under Secretary. In addition, Ambassador Westmacott served as Deputy Private Secretary to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales from 1990 to 1993. Ambassador Westmacott was born in the village of Edington, Somerset in the South West of England in December 1950. He was educated at New College Oxford and joined the Diplomatic Service in 1972. He married Susie Nemazee in 2001; together they have four grown children: Oliver, Laura, Rupert and Safieh.

Entries by Sir Peter Westmacott

Brexit. What Now?

(25) Comments | Posted July 5, 2016 | 9:10 AM

Writing shortly before the referendum, I argued that this vote was far more important for the future of our country than any general election.

It seems that a lot of people didn't see it that way, casually voting Leave despite the overwhelming evidence that doing so carried immense risks and...

Read Post

Marshall Scholars: 60 Years of Transatlantic Academic Excellence

(1) Comments | Posted December 4, 2014 | 10:29 AM

On a glorious September evening, the British Ambassador's Residence in Washington was the venue for a send-off party for the 2014 class of Marshall Scholars. As host and keynote speaker respectively, we delivered our words of advice to over 30 brilliant young Americans embarking on a period of postgraduate study...

Read Post

Magna Carta: Awesome Tale

(1) Comments | Posted November 6, 2014 | 2:18 PM

On June 15th 1215, in a bucolic meadow outside London, King John of England, beaten down by incessant warring with his own barons, stuck his seal to a document. Eight hundred years later, the implications of that moment are still playing out. Written in Latin, the document was called Magna...

Read Post

How British Talent Became Hollywood Royalty

(1) Comments | Posted October 30, 2014 | 2:14 PM

Did you know that Gravity was filmed in the UK, and that Brits were responsible for its stunning visual effects? That Twelve Years A Slave was directed by and starred Brits? Or that all of the Star Wars movies were filmed at British studios -- including the forthcoming Episode VII?...

Read Post

Honours: Much More Than Angelina!

(2) Comments | Posted June 20, 2014 | 3:52 PM

The Pulpit Rock
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague and Angelina Jolie at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict at the Excel Centre in London. Photo by Andrew Parsons / i-Images / Crown Copyright.

Angelina Jolie has been made an honorary Dame (the...

Read Post

Empowering Women, Ending Violence

(2) Comments | Posted June 11, 2014 | 1:41 PM

The horrific abduction of more than 200 innocent Nigerian schoolgirls has, rightly, shocked the conscience of the world. It also serves as a harsh reminder of the violence women and girls endure not just in parts of Nigeria but in so many countries around the globe affected by war, violence...

Read Post

The Beatles Rock the British Embassy Yet Again, 50 Years On

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 1:39 PM

As every American with a TV or an Internet connection now knows, last week marked 50 years since the Beatles first rocked the United States with their sensational first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Half a million people applied for the 700 available studio tickets. Some 73 million watched...

Read Post

There's No Downton It -- Americans Love Brit Culture

(3) Comments | Posted January 13, 2014 | 10:44 AM

A new season of Downton Abbey is a cause for celebration for millions of Brits and Americans alike. Just before Christmas, I spoke at a packed advance screening of Downton Abbey season four, hosted by Sharon Rockefeller, the Chief Executive of WETA, the PBS affiliate here in Washington....

Read Post

Prosperity Knocks

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2013 | 2:17 PM

"Prosperity, that errant daughter who went astray, is on our threshold. She has raised her hand to the knocker on the door. What shall we do? Shall we let her in? Or shall we drive her away?"

So said Winston Churchill in 1926, speaking about Britain's recovery after the First...

Read Post

Protecting Women & Girls in Crisis

(19) Comments | Posted November 14, 2013 | 1:44 PM

Worldwide, one in five women will become a victim of rape or attempted rape in their lifetime. Women and girls are even more at risk in crisis situations, particularly flood, famine, and conflict.

In recent years, the UK has used its convening power to bring the international community together...

Read Post

For a Change, Something Nice to Say About the US Congress

(6) Comments | Posted October 31, 2013 | 5:47 PM

I have had the privilege of being in the Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol twice in the last two days -- for two very different events. Both served as reminders of the power and integrity of U.S. democracy at its best, and the role which its institutions have played,...

Read Post

Study in the UK -- Change the World!

(3) Comments | Posted September 17, 2013 | 10:55 AM

Yesterday evening, I had the privilege of hosting the 2013 class of Marshall Scholars, just before they jet off to begin their studies in the UK. It was no surprise to learn that they are, as always, a collection of exceptional young Americans. One, Katie Davidson, is an officer in...

Read Post

You Cannot Be Serious! Brit Wins Wimbledon

(1) Comments | Posted July 11, 2013 | 8:53 AM

The last time a Brit won the men's singles title at Wimbledon, Edward VIII was on the Throne, FDR was in the White House, and a Hershey bar cost a nickel. In the same year, 1936, Jesse Owens won the 100 meters at the Berlin Olympics and Gone With the...

Read Post

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones

(12) Comments | Posted June 24, 2013 | 10:30 AM

Her Majesty the Queen was not the only British institution to pass a milestone last year. In November, the Rolling Stones celebrated the 50th anniversary of their very first performance, at London's Marquee Jazz Club. Tonight, the Stones take their '50 & Counting' tour to the 20,000-seater Verizon Center in...

Read Post

Britain's Commitment to Somalia's Future

(1) Comments | Posted May 7, 2013 | 9:27 AM

For the first time in more than 22 years, the United Kingdom has an embassy in Mogadishu. When Foreign Secretary William Hague raised the Union Flag over the new offices on April 25, the UK became the first EU country to return to the Somali capital since the...

Read Post

Downton Fever Hits the British Embassy

(3) Comments | Posted December 15, 2012 | 4:17 PM

Across America, anticipation is running high for next month's U.S. release of Downton Abbey season three. To celebrate, we held a Downton-themed party on Thursday evening at the Ambassador's Residence in Washington. Guests included several members of the cast, some of the show's producers and executives from PBS, its American...

Read Post

The Paralympics Return to Their Roots

(4) Comments | Posted August 29, 2012 | 1:26 PM

There are few sporting events more inspiring than the Paralympic Games. Over the two weeks of competition that follow tonight's opening ceremony, more than four thousand of the world's most amazing athletes will beat the odds that nature or accident has dealt them to participate in some 471 events at...

Read Post

Winning Gold in the Green Race

(2) Comments | Posted July 12, 2012 | 2:42 PM

Today the UK is being recognized by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), for its efforts and achievement in energy efficiency. The ACEEE believes that "a country that uses less energy to achieve the same or better results reduces costs and pollution, creating a stronger, more...

Read Post

Embassy Open House: Experience GREAT Britain in Washington

(0) Comments | Posted May 9, 2012 | 12:46 PM

What is the first thing you think of when you think "United Kingdom?"

Maybe it's Buckingham Palace and the generations of kings and queens who have ruled the British Isles since Roman times. Maybe it's the plays and poems of William Shakespeare, or the fortunes of your...

Read Post

Strengthening Trade for Security and Prosperity

(0) Comments | Posted April 13, 2012 | 7:58 PM

Today the U.S./U.K. Defence Trade Cooperation treaty comes into effect. In a ceremony presided by Rose Gottemoeller, the acting U.S. Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, our two countries finalized an agreement originally signed five years ago to strengthen our mutual security and build our shared prosperity.

Read Post