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COMMITTEE MEMBERS OF THE SAUDI–BRITISH SOCIETY

HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al-Saud

HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al-Saud HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al-Saud was born on 22 May 1953 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and at present is the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Prince Mohammed was educated at The Capital Institute High School in Riyadh. He is a graduate of The School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, Washington DC and carried out postgraduate studies at the John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He is President of the Harvard Alumni Association of Saudi Arabia.

Prince Mohammed worked for the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu for two years before transferring to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he first worked in the Minister’s Cabinet before being promoted to Inspector General at the Ministry.

In 1995, Prince Mohammed was appointed as Ambassador to Italy and Malta. In 1998 he was elected as President of the Council of Administration for the Islamic Cultural Centre of Italy. He was Dean of the Arab Ambassadors’ Corps.

In December 2005, Prince Mohammed was appointed as Ambassador of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Prince Mohammed is married to HH Princess Fadwa bint Khaled bin Abdallah Al-Saud. They have five children.


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Sir Alan Munro, KCMG

Sir Alan Munro Sir Alan Munro joined the Diplomatic Service in 1958 on coming down from Clare where he read history. He went to Lebanon to learn Arabic, and subsequently worked in Lebanon, Kuwait, Libya and Brazil as well as in the Foreign Office. He had a spell in the Ministry of Defence looking after military cooperation with Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, before going to Algeria as ambassador in 1974. He was subsequently Under-Secretary of State for the Middle East and Africa and was British ambassador in Saudi Arabia from 1989 to 1993, a period which coincided with the Kuwait crisis.

Since leaving the Diplomatic Service he has advised a number of firms on the Middle East region. He is chairman of the Saudi-British Society and a vice-chairman of the Arab British Chamber of Commerce. He was a founding member of the Saudi-British Business Council and advises the Ministry of Defence on the UK/Saudi Al Yamamah Economic Offset Programme. He is also a director of Middle East International magazine and writes and broadcasts on Arab issues. He is author of a book, ‘Arab Storm’, on the politics and diplomacy behind the 1990-91 Kuwait crisis, which has just reissued in paperback.

He has also been a governor of Imperial College in London and vice-chairman of the British Red Cross Society.

Sir Alan Munro was awarded the Order of King Abdul Aziz by King Fahd of Saudi Arabia after the Gulf War.


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Sir Derek Plumbly, KCMG

Sir Derek Plumbly Sir Derek Plumbly has long experience as a diplomat and international official in the Arab world, including three postings in Saudi Arabia. Most recently he was UN Under Secretary General and Special Coordinator in Lebanon. From 2008 to 2011 he chaired an international peace commission in Sudan. Prior to that he was British ambassador first in Riyadh from 2000 to 2003 then in Cairo from 2003 to 2007. He was Director, Middle East and North Africa, in the FCO from 1997 to 2000. His earlier career included postings in New York and Washington, in Riyadh as Deputy Head of Mission from 1998 to 1992 and as First Secretary in Jedda from 1975 to 1977. He speaks Arabic which he studied in Lebanon and Jordan after graduating from Oxford and teaching in Pakistan. He was appointed CMG in the Gulf War honours list and KCMG in 2000.

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Mr Syed Ali Abbas

Mr Syed Ali Abbas Syed Ali Abbas leads the principal investment initiatives, capital raising and deal origination in Middle East for Zeus Caps – a financial advisory specialist. Prior to Zeus, Mr. Syed worked as an investment banker in the City having worked with ABN AMRO and Morgan Stanley. Mr Syed also worked in Saudi Arabia for several years with the accounting firm Ernst & Young and still maintains close contacts in the region.



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Mrs Ionis Thompson

Mrs Ionis Thompson Ionis Thompson lived with her husband in Riyadh for a total of 12 years, during the 1970s and early 1990s. While there she wrote "Desert Treks from Riyadh" and "Riyadh Handbook", published by Stacey International.

On her return to London she maintained her interest in Arabia, through the Society for Arabian Studies of which she is also the Honorary Secretary and the Saudi-British Society. As a History graduate, she has a particular interest in Arabian history and archaeology and has taken part in University of London excavations in the region.




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Brigadier Nicholas Cocking

Brigadier Nicholas Cocking Nicholas Cocking joined the Army in 1954 and retired in 1992. During that time he served for four tours of duty in the Middle East. First was in 1960-61 when he was seconded to the Trucial Oman Scouts, where he first learnt Arabic at the British Army Language School in Aden. In 1963-64 he returned to the Arabian Peninsula with his Regiment (4RTR) where they were, inter alia, involved in the Radfan campaign in the Aden Protectorate. He joined the staff as GSO2 Intelligence to Commander British Forces Gulf in 1970-71. Finally he was seconded to The Saudi Arabian National Guard as Commander of the British Military Mission from 1984 to 1991 shortly after the War of Kuwait Liberation. He was awarded the King Abdulaziz Medal on his departure. Since retiring he has been active commercially within the Kingdom. He is a member of Chatham House and is active with their Middle East Forum, particularly when focused on Saudi interests.

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Mr Mu'awiya Derhalli

Mr Mu'awiya Derhalli Mr Mu'awiya Derhalli has a Diploma in the Theory and Practice of Education, and won a scholarship to Trinity College, Dublin, where he obtained his MA in Modern History and Political Science. Thereafter he had a variety of careers in many fields: academia, broadcasting, personnel, education, and general management and prepared cross-cultural and country-based (mainly Middle Eastern countries) briefings.

His occupations include:  Lecturer in Arabic and Tutor in University College, Durham University, Presenter, talks producer of The BBC Arabic Service, and Arab countries national days programme producer and interviewer.

Mr Derhalli has occupied a variety of executive positions with the Kuwait Oil Company (BP and Gulf Oil) for sixteen years in Kuwait. They include:  Principal of the Arabic Centre, General Superintendent of Training and Education, Director of Career Development and Personnel Manager (personnel, training, company schools and community affairs) and a member of the Management Committee. He also spent eleven years in the BP Head Office in London in the Personnel department providing University sponsorships, training services for Group and overseas associates.  In addition he is a trustee of the Overseas Student Trust and a member of Sir Peter Parker's Committee.

Mr Derhalli was a deputy Director, Course Coordinator and Director of Middle East briefing programmes for ten years at the Centre for International Briefing: Farnham Castle.

He has published a number of articles and book reviews in English and many short stories and radio programmes in Arabic.  He has visited the Arab countries of the Gulf, for which he provided training services.


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Mrs Caroline Montagu

Mrs Caroline Montagu Mrs Caroline Montagu, Countess of Sandwich was a business journalist on the Middle East from 1979 and specialised in Saudi Arabia from 1981. In 1985 published Investment in Saudi Arabia, Opportunities for Joint Ventures, funded by COMET (Committee for Middle East Trade), which was the first British in-depth analysis of industrial development and of our EC partners’ positions on Saudi Arabia. In 1987 wrote the European Commission research report entitled: Industrial Development in Saudi Arabia. Mrs Montagu has been writing on Saudi Arabia and on specific Middle Eastern topics for a wide range of publications and consultancies since the mid 1980s. In 1980s she wrote many of the EIU’s publications on Saudi Arabia including editing the flagship Saudi Arabia Monitor. In 1991 she wrote The Private Sector in Saudi Arabia, a COMET report. In 2001 she wrote Saudi Arabia: On the Road to Reform, funded by the DTI. In 2002 and 2003 she wrote reports for the MOD Economic Offset Department on Saudi British Offset and other topics and later in 2003 she wrote on Saudi women’s NGOs for the British Council. In 2005 co-authored report for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office on Needs and Capacities of the NGOs in Saudi Arabia.

Mrs Montagu is currently specialising in social and women’s issues in Saudi Arabia and studying for MA (London) on Middle East Politics & Society. She has a MA from Cambridge University.

Mrs Montagu is currently a Committee member of the Saudi British Society, a member of the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce’s Consultative Committee on the Middle East; a member of the Saudi British Joint Business Council and a senior adviser for Women in Business International.

Mrs Montagu is currently a Member of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s South West Committee and a Member of the HHA Tourism & Commercial Development Committee. In addition, she is a Patron of the Beaminster Festival, Bridport CAB and President of the Dorset Natural History & Archaeological Society.


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