Senior Adviser, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Sir Graham Boyce

Chair, Common Purpose International

Sir Graham Boyce 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 Senior Adviser at Bank of America Merrill Lynch as well as Air Products and DLAPiper. He also is a member of International Advisory Council, Kuwait Investment Office, a Global Ambassador for SOAS a member of the Court of Patrons, Thrombosis Research Institute and a Trustee of the Dakhleh Oasis Trust (Egypt).  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 four grown up children and seven grandchildren, which still leaves a little time for golf, tennis and reading.