Graham is a former diplomat, currently working as an adviser to
a number of companies doing business in the Middle East and North
Africa. He was educated at Hurstpierpoint College and at Jesus
College Cambridge, where he read law. On graduating, he spent a
year doing voluntary service with VSO, teaching in Antigua. He
still retains his connection with VSO and supports their move
towards promoting local volunteering.
After VSO, he took up his place in the Foreign and Commonwealth
Office, working first on reforming the UN's economic and social
institutions, and then on bilateral relations with Burma. A short
posting to Ottawa was followed by 18 months studying Arabic
in Lebanon. From there, in 1974 he went to Tripoli, as Head
of Chancery (the political section). On return to London in 1977,
he ran the Arab-Israel desk at the FCO at the time of President
Sadat's visit to Jerusalem, and the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. He
then had a trouble shooting role working as the FCO representative
on a number of issues ranging from counter-terrorism to civil
aviation agreements. The next overseas posting was to Kuwait in
1981 as Financial and Economic Secretary, which he combined with
the role of Head of Chancery. He returned to London as Assistant
Head of the Middle East Department. He went as Counsellor and
Consul-General to Stockholm in 1986 and in January 1990 he was made
Ambassador to Qatar. During that time he worked closely with the
then Crown Prince in developing ideas on the political and social
development of Qatar which are being implemented today.
Back in London in 1993, he ran the FCO's Environment
Science and Energy Department for two years before returning
to Kuwait as Ambassador, where the dominant issue was Iraq and its
WMD capacity. In 1999 he went as Ambassador to Egypt, where the
Camp David 2 agreements and the Second Intifada overshadowed much
of the internal politics of the country.
Graham left the Diplomatic Service in 2001 to work for a year as
Adviser to the Emir of Qatar. He built up a portfolio of
companies with which he has worked in the past decade.
These include Shell (which he helped into their largest investment
in the world, in Qatar) VT Group, Lehman Brothers and
Invensys ( as Chairman of their Middle East Advisory Boards).
He is currently Vice Chairman of the Europe Middle East and
Africa Advisory Panel at Nomura International, Middle East Adviser
to DLA Piper and Air Products, Chairman of MEC International and a
member of the International Advisory board of the Kuwait Investment
Office. He is a trustee of the Dakhleh Oasis Trust and on the
International Advisory Board of SOAS.
He retains a close interest in educational and cultural links
between the UK and the Middle East and has worked with Cambridge
University and helped the British Library set up a collaborative
venture with the Qatar Foundation on digitising some of their
archives and historic texts.
Graham lives in Hinton Charterhouse, near Bath, although he
spends much of the time in London or in travel. He is married to
Janet, and they have 4 grown up children and 7 grandchildren, which
still leaves a little time for golf, tennis and reading.