Richard Moore, the Foreign Office’s director general for political affairs, has been named the next chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6.
Moore, a former ambassador, will succeed Sir Alex Younger, who will step down in the autumn after six years as head of the service – a role also known as “C”.
He has been the FCO’s political director since April 2018, after a four-year stint as ambassador to Turkey. He was previously the department’s director for Europe, Latin America and Globalisation, and before that director for programmes and change.
Moore, who was born in Libya, studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University before winning a Kennedy Scholarship for postgraduate study at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
His diplomatic career has included postings in Vietnam, Turkey, Pakistan and Malaysia.
He has also served as deputy national security adviser in the Cabinet Office, and is a former director at MI6, which he first joined in 1987.
Cabinet secretary Sir Mark Sedwill, said Moore would be an “excellent chief, who will embody the values of the service and act as a fine role model to SIS staff”.
“Richard’s experience and leadership in the intelligence field will prove vital in pursuing national interests overseas and protecting the UK from emerging foreign threats,” he said.
Foreign secretary Dominic Raab said Moore was returning to the intelligence service with “tremendous experience”.
“[He] will oversee the work of a group of men and women whose tireless efforts are rarely seen in public, but which are critical for the security and prosperity of the UK,” he said.
He added: “I pay tribute to Sir Alex Younger for everything he has done during his time leading the Secret Intelligence Service. He has carefully and effectively guided the service during a time of increased and more diverse threats.”
Moore, who is said to enjoy golf, hiking, scuba-diving and Turkish carpets and porcelain, said he was “pleased and honoured” to be appointed to the role.
“SIS plays a vital role – with MI5 and GCHQ – in keeping the British people safe and promoting UK interests overseas. I look forward to continuing that work alongside the brave and dedicated team at SIS.”