Sir John Jenkins.jpg

Sir John Jenkins

Associate of Policy Exchange and board member of the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics


Sir John Jenkins is an associate of Policy Exchange in London and a board member of the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He was executive and then corresponding director (Middle East) at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), based in Manama, Bahrain, from January 2015 to December 2017, and a senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs in 2017. Until January 2015 he was the British ambassador to Saudi Arabia. He was also the Benghazi-based British special representative to the National Transitional Council and later ambassador to Libya during the 2011 revolution, ambassador to Iraq, Syria and Burma, and consul-general in Jerusalem. 

In a 35-year career in the British Diplomatic Service, Sir John also lived and worked in Kuwait, Malaysia, and the UAE, and was director for the Middle East and North Africa in the Foreign Office in London from 2007 to 2009. He was the lead author of the British Government’s Muslim Brotherhood Review in 2014. He studied at Cambridge University (BA, PhD), SOAS (Arabic and Burmese) and the London Business School. Sir John writes for the New Statesman, the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph and Arab News, and is a regular commentator on regional affairs for the BBC and other broadcasters.