Two veteran candidates to succeed Griffiths to Yemen.. Get to know them


With the end of the mandate of the UN envoy to Yemen إلى Martin Griffiths Who gave a final briefing to the Security Council on June 15, two potential candidates have emerged to succeed him in the post.

Al-Arabiya/Al-Hadath correspondent stated that the candidates to succeed the UN envoy are the British Nicholas Kay and the Swedish Hans Grundberg, who are two veteran diplomats who held several positions and worked in a number of countries around the world.

NATO representative in Afghanistan

Kay served as NATO’s Highest Civilian Representative to Afghanistan between April 2019 and May 2020. He previously served as the United Kingdom’s Ambassador to Afghanistan from 2017 to 2018.

He was also the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). From June 2013 until January 2016, after leaving Somalia he became the British Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa 2016-2017.

British envoy to Somalia Nicholas Kay (Reuters)

British envoy to Somalia Nicholas Kay (Reuters)

MA in Linguistics

He also previously held the position of Director for Africa at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) (2012-2013), where he was responsible for the UK’s network of 34 diplomatic missions in sub-Saharan Africa and advised on UK policy priorities in Africa. .

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

Briton Nicholas Kay in Somalia (Reuters)

Briton Nicholas Kay in Somalia (Reuters)

In addition, in his previous career with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he worked in political positions in London, Spain and Cuba. Prior to joining the Diplomatic Corps, he was involved in teaching English 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 Oxford University.

Who is Swede Grundberg?

The second candidate is Sweden’s Hans Grundberg, who was appointed as the European Union’s ambassador to Yemen on 1 September 2019.

Prior to assuming his current position, he headed the Gulf Department of the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Stockholm.

He is a career diplomat on Middle East affairs and conflict resolution, often holding joint posts at both Swedish and European Union missions abroad.

Previously, he held several diplomatic positions in Cairo and Jerusalem, as well as Brussels, where he chaired the Middle East and Gulf Working Group of the European Council during Sweden’s 2009 presidency of the European Union.

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