By Umer Yousaf
Fouzia Younis is a distinguished British Pakistani diplomat who has made significant contributions to the field of international relations.
Fouzia Younis Early life
Born in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, in 1966, Younis moved to the UK at the age of 7 and grew up in the East End of London. Fouzia Younis graduated from the University of Manchester with a degree in Politics and Modern History in 1988, and then completed a Master’s degree in International Relations from the same university.
She joined the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1992 and has since held a number of high-profile positions in the diplomatic service. Through out her career, She has worked on a wide range of issues, including trade, human rights, and security. She has served in a number of countries, including Pakistan, India, Malaysia, and Bangladesh.
In 2014, she was appointed as the British Deputy High Commissioner in Karachi, Pakistan, a role in which she played an important role in strengthening the UK-Pakistan relationship.
In 2018, Younis was appointed as the British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, where she focused on promoting trade and investment between the UK and Sierra Leone. During her tenure, she also worked to strengthen the UK’s partnership with Sierra Leone in areas such as education, healthcare, and governance.
Younis is a strong advocate for gender equality and has worked to promote women’s rights throughout her career. She has also been an active supporter of initiatives to promote cultural exchange and understanding between the UK and Pakistan.
In recognition of her contributions to the field of diplomacy, Younis was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2012. She is also a member of the Foreign Office Women’s Leadership Group and has been actively involved in mentoring and supporting other women in the diplomatic service.
In addition to her diplomatic work, Younis is also an accomplished musician and plays the sitar. She has performed at a number of events in the UK and Pakistan, promoting cultural exchange and understanding between the two countries.
Fouzia highly respected diplomat
Overall, Fouzia Younis is a highly respected diplomat who has made significant contributions to promoting the UK’s interests overseas. Her work in promoting women’s rights and cultural exchange serves as a model for others in the field of international relations.
Fouzia was the Communication Director for the Pakistan Network; and previously the Co-Chair of the FCDO Race Network leading a global network of over 300 staff. Her previous diplomatic assignments have included: leading UK strategic efforts across the Gulf Cooperation Council region; supporting UK’s security and humanitarian efforts in Bangladesh; and serving in Sri Lanka during the conflict period.
Fouzia was also seconded to No10 Downing Street and has led major corporate reform programmers for the FCDO. Her work has been nominated for several awards including for innovation and expertise; and she is a passionate advocate on inclusion. Fouzia hails from Sturbridge in the West Midlands, speaks Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi, and is an alumna from the Universities of Birmingham and Cambridge.