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Biography of Lieutenant Governor

Mr Adam Wood

Lieutenant Governor Adam Wood

Adam Wood was educated at the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe. He graduated from Oriel College, Oxford, in 1977, entered the ‘fast-stream’ of the UK Civil Service, and went on to enjoy a highly varied career in international development and diplomacy.

After early roles covering bilateral aid and rural development policy, and establishing a UK development programme for the newly independent Zimbabwe, Adam spent three years in the Lord Privy Seal’s private office in the Foreign Office in London, supporting successive cabinet ministers through such diverse issues as legislating for the patriation of residual elements of the Canadian constitution and the Falklands War.

In 1983 Adam moved to the World Bank in Washington D.C. as Assistant to the UK Executive Director, specialising in Africa and Asia, and liaising with US congressional committees. He returned to London in 1986 to the Overseas Development Administration (ODA) to head the section dealing with the (then) European Community’s assistance to countries of Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific through the European Development Fund.

In 1988 he moved to ODA’s regional office in Nairobi to manage Britain’s development programme in Kenya, refocusing it on reducing poverty in an environmentally sustainable manner. Here he met, and married, Katie Richardson. In 1993 Adam was seconded to the European Commission in Brussels to advise the Director General of External Relations on structures, systems and processes to enhance development impact.

In 1996 Adam took on a four-year assignment with the Department for International Development, heading up Britain’s efforts to reduce poverty in Southeast Asia through a network of country offices that he set up and oversaw from his regional base in Bangkok. This period encompassed political transformation in Indonesia, independence for East Timor and a tenfold increase in Britain’s assistance to Vietnam. In 2000 he returned to Brussels as Development Counsellor in the UK’s Permanent Representation to the European Union.

Adam was British High Commissioner in Uganda between 2002-2005, where he led a team dedicated to supporting British nationals and promoting UK trade with Uganda, and engaged President Museveni personally on regional relations (including the Democratic Republic of Congo), and such issues as the reintroduction of multi-party democracy and the Lord’s Resistance Army.

However, it was in his subsequent role as High Commissioner to Kenya (2005-2008) that he came to international prominence. Working with Kofi Annan and others in the international community he helped bring an end to the violence that followed Kenya’s flawed 2007 elections and persuade the parties to agree on a basis for Kenya’s future governance.

Adam finally returned to London in 2008 as Africa Director in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, advising the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary on Africa and managing Britain’s policy and its network of embassies on the continent (and 2000 staff in London and abroad). He retired in 2010. Adam and Katie have a daughter Persie (short for Persephone) who was born in Bangkok in 1999.


Invitations to the Lieutenant Governor and/or his wife to attend a function should be made, giving as much notice as possible, by writing to the Private Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor. Requests will be considered at the next weekly planning meeting and acceptance or regret will be communicated in writing.

A Visit Questionnaire requesting more detailed information of what is required of His Excellency will be sent to the organiser for completion.


Nominations should be submitted to the Lieutenant Governor in writing by completing the Honours Nomination Form and attaching letters of support.

All recommendations submitted to the Lieutenant Governor will be carefully considered but it must be appreciated that there can be no guarantee of success. It is wise to submit a nomination at least 12 months before the expected date of an honour.

For further information about Honours and the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service please click here

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