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Paul Madden

British Ambassador to Japan

Part of UK in Australia

6th September 2013

Accelerating cultural collaboration

HE Paul Madden with Accelerate Award Winners

I announced this year’s participants in the British Council’s Accelerator programme in Melbourne yesterday. The initiative takes up-and-coming indigenous cultural leaders from Australia to the UK, to work with mentors and peers. Previous years’ winners have talked eloquently about the personal development which they gained from participating. We were serenaded at the event by the outstanding Black Arm Band, who performed in London last year as part of the Cultural Festival organised around the Olympic Games.

HE Paul Madden with Accelerate Award Winners
HE Paul Madden with Accelerate Award Winners

This year’s awardees included: Solomon Booth (visual artist); Ron Bradfield (arts administrator); Michael Cook (photo media); Andrea James (playwright and theatre director); and Kimberley Moulton (museum curator). I had dinner with them afterwards: they were a lively and dynamic bunch, and I’m sure they are really going to make the most of their UK experience.

The British Council do a great job in promoting cultural relations around the world. I’ve worked very closely with them during my career, particularly when I was head of Public Diplomacy at the FCO. In a country like Australia with such strong cultural ties to the UK, there seems to be some artistic event with a British link going on in most cities on most nights. Last week I saw West Australians Tim Minchin and Toby Schmitz in a sparkling production of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern at the Sydney Theatre Company (STC). Tim has enjoyed massive success in the UK with his musical Matilda. The British Council occasionally work with some of these mainstream shows, for example the National Theatre’s One Man Two Guvnors at the STC earlier this year was part of their GREAT Britain Arts festival. But the Council also play an important role behind the scenes, in bringing together promising artists, directors and administrators.

About Paul Madden

Paul Madden has been the British Ambassador to Japan from January 2017. He was Additional Director for Asia Pacific at the FCO in 2015.He was British High Commissioner to Australia…

Paul Madden has been the British Ambassador to Japan from January 2017.

He was Additional Director for Asia Pacific at the FCO in 2015.He was British High Commissioner to Australia until February 2015. Prior to this he was British High Commissioner in Singapore from 2007-2011.

A career diplomat, he was previously Managing Director at UK Trade and Investment (2004-2006), responsible for co-ordinating and
implementing international trade development strategies to support
companies across a wide range of business sectors.

As Assistant Director of Information at the Foreign and Commonwealth
Office (2003-2004) he was responsible for public diplomacy policy,
including managing the FCO funding of the BBC World Service, the British
Council and the Chevening Scholarships programme. He led the team
responsible for the award-winning UK pavilion at the Aichi Expo in Japan

He was Deputy High Commissioner in Singapore from 2000-2003 and has
also served in Washington (1996-2000) and Tokyo (1988-92). Between
1992-96 he worked on EU enlargement and Environmental issues at the FCO
in London.

Before joining FCO he worked at the Department of Trade and Industry
(1980-87) on a range of industrial sectors and trade policy, including
two years as a minister’s Private Secretary.

He has an MA in Economic Geography from Cambridge University, an MBA
from Durham University, studied Japanese at London University’s School
of Oriental and African Studies, and is a Fellow of the Royal
Geographical Society. His first book, Raffles: Lessons in Business
Leadership, was published in 2003.

Married to Sarah, with three children, he was born in 1959, in Devon.