UK names first woman high commissioner to Kenya

by David Karani

The United Kingdom has named Jane Marriot, an expert on terrorism, the first woman high commissioner to Kenya.

The new high commissioner who takes up her appointment effective September has served in stations where exploding bombs and artillery booms are the order of the day.

Ms Marriot is the director of the United Kingdom Government’s Joint International Counter-Terrorism Unit. The 43-year-old previously served in the Middle East as the High Commissioner to war-torn Yemen between 2013 and 2015.

The new British envoy was once the advisor to Richard Holbrooke during his time as a Special Envoy for Al-Qaeda-ravaged Afghanistan. Her docket also covered Pakistan which, also, has problems with Al Qaeda.

Marriot has also served as the deputy and acting ambassador to Tehran and is described as having a wealth of experience to her new role.

“Ms Marriott is the first woman to be appointed to the role (High Commissioner to Kenya). She brings a wealth of experience to the position, having worked across many UK government departments including the foreign and commonwealth office, the cabinet office, the home office and the ministry of defence,” the British high commission website says.

In 2014, Marriott, a History and International Relations graduate, was awarded the officer of the most excellent order of the British Empire honours for her services in Al Amara, Iraq.

She takes up her appointment in September 2019 and will replace 44-year-old diplomat Nic Hailey. Hailey has held the position since 2015 and last week announced his imminent departure at the commemorative event to mark Queen Elizabeth’s 93rd birthday.

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