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Planet Myanmar - President

Britain Myanmar Society
President
Sir Nicholas Fenn

Sir Nicholas Fenn GCMG became President on 11th June 1997 (see report).

He is now chief executive in the charity Marie Curie Cancer Care, after 37 years in the British diplomatic service - 8 of them in Myanmar.

Myanmar was his first post, serving as vice-consul in Mandalay, and studying the Myanmar language there with John Okell. He went on to the job of Third Secretary in Yangon and then to a lot of extremely prestigious posts for such a young man, serving as Assistant Private Secretary to four British Foreign Secretaries in succession: "Rab" Butler, Patrick Gordon Walker, Michael Stewart and George Brown. There followed diplomatic posts in Algeria and the UN. He was then deputy head of the Energy Department at the Foreign Office during the first oil crisis, and Counsellor in Peking at the end of the Cultural Revolution. From 1979-82 he was Foreign Office Spokesman - which made him the first source on foreign policy for both the Rhodesian and Falklands crises.

Then came his period as British Ambassador in Myanmar, from 1982-86. After that he spent a period as ambassador in Eire, before moving to one of the most prestigious diplomatic posts of all - High Commissioner in India from 1991-96.

Sir Nicholas was born in 1936 and trained as an RAF pilot (1954-56) before studying medieval history at Peterhouse college, in Cambridge. He is married, with three grown up children. Lady Fenn read Biochemistry at St Andrews and worked in cancer research for a year before accompanying her husband to Mandalay. She is a Justice of the Peace in Maidstone, Kent. According to Sir Nicholas, she is the gardener, and he is the navvy; he cannot tell a daffodil from a dandelion, but when she says "dig", he digs. He is a keen amateur sailor. They share an interest in history, politics, travel, hill-walking, amateur dramatics and active church membership.