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Sir Ivor Roberts headshot

Sir Ivor Roberts

Advisory Board member

Sir Ivor read Modern languages at Keble College, Oxford. A British diplomat from 1968-2006, he served in Lebanon, Paris, Luxembourg, Canberra, Vanuatu (formerly New Hebrides), was Minister in the British Embassy in Madrid and Ambassador in Belgrade, Dublin and Rome. He was head of counterterrorism in the British Foreign Office in the 1980s. From January 1998 to February 1999 he was on a sabbatical as a Senior Associate Member of St. Antony’s College, Oxford, writing and lecturing on his experiences in Yugoslavia. 

Sir Ivor is an Honorary Fellow of Keble College Oxford and of Trinity College Oxford. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (FCIL), a Patron of the Venice in Peril Fund and was Chairman of the Council of the British School of Archaeology and Fine Art in Rome from 2007-2012.  He is the Chair of Trustees of both the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association and the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra.

He retired from the Diplomatic Service in September 2006 on his election as the President of Trinity College, a post he held until 2017.  He is a Visiting Professor at St Mary’s College, London.

In 2009, he published, as editor and major contributor, the first new edition for 30 years of the classic reference book on diplomacy ‘Satow’s Diplomatic Practice’ (Oxford University Press). A revised, centenary 7th edition was published at the beginning of 2017. His book on his experiences in Yugoslavia during the Bosnian war and the Kosovo crisis, Conversations with Milošević, was published in 2016. He is currently working on the 8th edition of ‘Satow’s Diplomatic Practice’ which is to be published in 2023.

Sir Ivor speaks fluent Italian, French and Spanish and limited Serbo-Croatian. His hobbies include Italian opera, theatre, photography and sport (skiing, golf). He was for many years a rugby referee and is now President of Oxford University Rugby Football Club.

He was made a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (KCMG) in 2000.