Stephen Evans, Assistant Secretary General for Operations
Assistant Secretary General for Operations
Ambassador Stephen Evans took up the post of Assistant Secretary General for Operations in August 2011 on secondment from the United Kingdom Diplomatic Service. He supports the North Atlantic Council and the Secretary General of NATO in the political direction and management of NATO’s operational activities.
Stephen Evans joined the United Kingdom’s Diplomatic Service in 1974 on completing a three-year Short Service Commission in the British Army. He worked as a Desk Officer in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London before being posted as Head of Chancery at the British Embassy in Vietnam in 1978. He returned to London in 1980, took up a Head of Section job in the FCO and then went abroad again two years later as First Secretary at the British Embassy in Thailand. Another spell at the FCO from 1986 to 1989 was followed by successive overseas postings as Head of Political Section at the Embassy in Turkey and Counsellor Economic at the British High Commission in Pakistan.
In 1996, Stephen was seconded to the United Nations Special Mission to Afghanistan and was engaged in shuttle diplomacy to promote a ceasefire between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance. He rejoined the FCO in 1997, spent a year as Head of the Department dealing with the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Council of Europe, and headed South Asian Department from 1998 to 2001. In the aftermath of 9/11, Stephen ran the FCO Emergency Unit and re-opened the British Embassy in Afghanistan in November 2001, six days after the collapse of the Taliban regime.
Stephen was promoted to ambassadorial rank in August 2002, serving as High Commissioner to Sri Lanka from 2002 to 2006 and as Ambassador to Afghanistan from 2006 to 2007. During the latter posting he worked closely with the Government of Afghanistan, NATO forces and other international partners on developing the comprehensive approach to building security.
Stephen spent the academic year 2007-2008 at the University of Cambridge, gaining the degree of Master of Philosophy in Historical Studies. He then resumed his diplomatic career, serving as High Commissioner to Bangladesh from 2008 to 2011.
Stephen is married to Sharon. They have three adult children – Juliette, Olivia and Nicholas. His interests include naval and military history, tennis and cycling.