Sir Simon McDonald, Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Head of the Diplomatic Service of United Kingdom, met with the cadets undergoing the Foreign Service Officers’ Cadetship Course (FSOCC) on 15 May 2018 at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI).
Sir McDonald addressed the group to share the lessons and reflections he accumulated from his more than three decades of experience in the diplomatic service. The key lessons he imparted include the importance of being curious about everything, harboring love for country, and keeping the passion to improve humankind. He also conveyed his reflections on the changes in how diplomacy is done in terms of factors in determining current political weather, who needs to be reached and get involved, as well as the tools available to achieve that end.
He also expressed his views on a range of topics that the cadets asked about including Brexit, UK’s constitutional monarchy, the use of social media and technology in diplomacy, and dealing with the demands of diplomatic work.
British Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce and other foreign service officers from the DFA and British Embassy were also in attendance.