Dame Judith Macgregor was British High Commissioner to South Africa from
September 2013 until March 2017, when she retired from the Foreign and Commonwealth
Office after some 40 years in the Diplomatic Service.
After graduating from Oxford (LMH) with a first class degree in Modern History, and a year
in Romania as a British Council scholar, Dame Judith entered the FCO in 1976 serving first
in the former Yugoslavia, and later as First Secretary in Prague and Paris.
After accompanying her husband as Director General for Trade Promotion in Germany and
Ambassador to Poland, she resumed her career as FCO Director for Security Policy in 2000, and then as Ambassador to Slovakia (2004-6). She became FCO Director for Migration in 2007 and Ambassador to Mexico in 2009. In 2013, she became British High Commissioner to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland and was awarded the DCMG in January 2016.
Dame Judith was President of the FCO Women’s Association from 2006 to 2016 overseeing a significant increase of FCO women in the senior grades. In Mexico and South Africa she led government efforts to increase trade and investment and bilateral programmes in Research and Development.
Dame Judith is an Independent Non Executive Board Member of the UK/Mexican mining
company, Fresnillo plc and Vice Chair of the Council of Southampton University. In 2017
she was appointed to the Board of the British Tourist Authority and in 2018 she joined the
Arts and Humanities Research Council, as well as becoming a trustee of the University of
Cape Town Charitable Trust. In February 2020 she was appointed Chair of the Strategic
Advisory Group to the Global Challenges Research Fund and in March she became a Trustee of the Caradon Lecture trust.
Beyond her Board activity, Dame Judith is a member of the Advisory Council for Lady
Margaret Hall, Oxford and an Honorary Bencher of the Middle Temple. In 2018 she became a Deputy Lieutenant for Hampshire.
This role is remunerated at £3,840 per annum. These reappointments have been made in accordance with the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments, the process is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. The Government’s Governance Code requires that any significant political activity undertaken by an appointee in the last five years is declared. This is defined as holding office, public speaking, making a recordable donation or candidature for election. Dame Judith has not declared any activity.