Sir Edward Clay has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the diplomatic service. The Oxford graduate first followed his father into journalism, subsequently joining the Foreign Office. Sir Edward’s first overseas posting was in Kenya, where he rose to Second Secretary in Nairobi. A series of postings across Europe followed before Sir Edward moved to Cyprus as Deputy High Commissioner in 1985.

His next role was British High Commissioner to Uganda and non-resident Ambassador to Rwanda and Burundi. He was responsible for British representation in the traumatic aftermath of the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, which cost the lives of around one million Rwandans.

A two-year posting followed in London, as Director of Public Services, before Sir Edward became High Commissioner to Cyprus in 1999, as the country began the process of accession to the European Union and supported UN efforts to reach a settlement between the Greek and Turkish communities on the divided island.

His final overseas posting was in the same country as his first – this time as High Commissioner to Kenya, where he remained until 2005. As the chairman of the DFID small grants scheme in Kenya, Sir Edward visited one of our project sites, and was impressed by what the communities had achieved with our support. Following his retirement and his return to the UK, Sir Edward kindly agreed to support our work by accepting the position of Patron.