Ambassador Sir Nicholas Kay

Senior Civilian Representative – Afghanistan
2019 – 2020

  • Last updated: 22 Jul. 2020 11:12
Sir Nicholas Kay

Ambassador Sir Nicholas Kaywas was the NATO Senior Civilian Representative to Afghanistan between April 2019 and May 2020. Previously he served as UK Ambassador to Afghanistan from 2017-18.  

From June 2013 until January 2016 he was the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative (SRSG) for Somalia and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). After leaving Somalia he became the UK Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa 2016-2017.

Sir Nicholas was previously Africa Director in the UK foreign ministry, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) (2012-13), with responsibility for the UK’s network of 34 diplomatic missions in sub-Saharan Africa and for advising on and delivering UK policy priorities in Africa. 

He served as Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2007-10) and as Ambassador to Sudan (2010-2012). Before working in Africa, he was UK Regional Coordinator for Southern Afghanistan and the first Head of the Provincial Reconstruction Team for Helmand Province from 2006 to 2007.

In his earlier career with the FCO, Sir Nicholas served in policy and Embassy positions in London, Spain and Cuba.  Before joining Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service, he worked in the field of English language teaching in Cyprus, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Peru, Brazil and the United Kingdom. He holds an MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Reading and a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Oxford.

He was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 2007 and Knight Commander (KCMG) in 2016 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Born in 1958, Sir Nicholas Kay is married and has a son and two daughters. He enjoys sailing, swimming and his 1968 MGB.