Meet New Zealand High Commissioner Rob Taylor

The SOAS Pacific Islands Society is honored to kick-off our 2013 Ambassador Speaking Series with New Zealand’s Acting High Commissioner Rob Taylor.

Mr Taylor has led a distinguished career in public service. Life as a diplomat has taken him around the world- dealing with conflict, crisis, and a host of other vital interests. Now based here in London, he is also Acting Ambassador to Ireland and the Acting High Commissioner to Nigeria.

Here are some of the highlights of Mr Taylor’s career:

Rob is a career diplomat with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  He has served in a number of overseas missions as well as various placements outside of the foreign ministry.

Before his current role, he was the Director and Chief of Protocol with oversight for managing relations with all diplomatic missions accredited to New Zealand and high level visits.  Following the devastating Christchurch earthquake of February 2011, Rob led the Ministry’s response team and crisis centre during the rescue and recovery phase.

Earlier assignments have included Consul-General to Los Angeles (April 04 – Feb 08), High Commissioner to Vanuatu (Feb 1999 – Sept 2001), as well as postings to Samoa, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The Consul-General role encompassed the fourteen U.S West Coast states promoting New Zealand’s economic, trade and tourism interests including leveraging activities associated with the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.  In Saudi Arabia, Rob worked closely with the New Zealand Armed Forces during the Gulf War.

Outside of the foreign ministry, Rob served as Official Secretary to the Governor-General of New Zealand (March 2008 – April 2010) with responsibility for providing management and staff support as well as acting as the principal advisor to the Governor-General.  The role also included oversight of the Governor-General’s visits programme, ceremonial duties and the NZ$44 million restoration of the vice-regal residence in Wellington (Government House).  Rob also served as Senior Private Secretary to the New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Sept 2001 – March 2004).

Rob has a strong background in charitable organisations, including Riding for the Disabled and Oxfam.  He has participated over a number of years as a triathlete and is currently a keen road cyclist.  He is joined on his London posting by his partner Don.

— Biography courtesy of New Zealand High Commission

For more on Mr Taylor and the New Zealand Commission, check out their homepage here.

Please join the SOAS Pacific Islands Society for our first event of the 2013 Ambassador Speaking Series: A Talk by New Zealand High Commissioner Rob Taylor on international security issues in the region.

The event is open to the public and will be held at the Khalili Lecture Theatre in the SOAS main building on Monday, February 11. Doors open at 6:00pm.

See you there!

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