Jonathan Knott

Former British ambassador to Hungary, Budapest

Part of UK in Hungary

16th October 2012 Budapest, Hungary

Wedding planners

The Foreign Secretary, William Hague, visited us on 4 October.  He was here for a short time – just 5 working hours.  But he was able in that time to open the Budapest Cyber Conference, have meetings with PM Orban and Foreign Minister Martonyi, and do a TV interview and a press conference. An impressive pace. And the trip went very smoothly.

William Hague in Budapest
Photo: Gergely Botár

But of course behind every successful visit there are many hours of preparation.  It’s a bit like organising a wedding: time spent on meticulous preparation means the event goes well and you get the results you want. In this case the Embassy team had put those hours of preparation in the weeks before the visit. We’d had to arrange the programme, then re-arrange it as the Conference schedule and the Minister’s meetings shifted about. There were agreements to be made about who was going with the Minister to what meeting and what the agendas should be. There were the transport logistics around getting everyone to the right place at the right time. The media events needed to be well prepared – the right people invited and the venues right too. The Minister’s support team needed the right facilities – whenever and wherever he travels he must be able to receive and send messages so he travels with a sophisticated communications set up. And then we had to make sure the Minister was up to date on all the topics which would come up during his trip. Finally we needed to sort out sandwiches for our visitors because there wasn’t time for a lunch-break!

William Hague in Budapest
Photo: Gergely Botár

The team worked really hard and delivered a faultless programme, working closely with the excellent Hungarian team who hosted us. The Minister’s Private Secretary said the trip had been a model: one he hoped would be replicated elsewhere. The team and I were very proud to hear that.  There was real satisfaction in knowing the Foreign Secretary had achieved so much in so little time. And that everything had gone to plan. On the day he left we felt a little like the guests at a wedding reception after the bride and groom have left – happy but a little tired.

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About Jonathan Knott

Jonathan Knott was appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Hungary in March 2011 and arrived in Budapest in February 2012 to take up his post. He left this post on April…

Jonathan Knott was appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to
Hungary in March 2011 and arrived in Budapest in February 2012 to take
up his post. He left this post on April 2015.
He has previously held a variety of diplomatic posts at home and
abroad, several with a particular focus on commercial and corporate
finance issues. Jonathan has served in a number of positions in the
British Diplomatic Service since joining in 1988:
Before his appointment was Deputy Head of Mission and Director for Trade and Investment in South Korea from 2008 to 2011.Between 2005 and 2008 he held the post of Deputy Finance Director in the FCO.From 2000 to 2005 he served as First Secretary (Trade, Corporate Affairs and Finance Negotiator) in UKDel OECD Paris.From 1996 to 2000 he was First Secretary (Head of Political/Economic/Aid Section) in Mexico.From 1995 to 1996 he worked in the FCO as Deputy European Correspondent at the EU Directorate.Between 1991 and 1995 he served as Third later Second Secretary (Political / Press and Public Affairs) in Havana.From 1990 to 1991 he was Desk Officer in the FCO’s First Gulf War Emergency Unit.Between 1988 and 1990 he worked as Desk Officer in the FCO in the Anti Drugs Cooperation Department.
Jonathan holds an MA in law from Oxford University, and he is a
member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. He speaks
English, French, Spanish and Hungarian. He is married to Angela Susan
Knott and has one daughter and two sons.

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