FCO diplomat dies of coronavirus

Steven Dick worked as the deputy head of mission in Hungary

Steven Dick photo: FCO

By Richard Johnstone

26 Mar 2020

The Foreign Office has announced that a British diplomat has died in Hungary after contracting coronavirus.

Steven Dick, 37, was serving as the FCO’s deputy head of mission in Budapest.

In a statement released by the department after his death on Tuesday, his parents Steven and Carol Dick paid tribute to “a much-loved son, grandson and nephew” who was kind, funny and generous.

“It was always his dream to work for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and he was very happy representing our country overseas. We are devastated by his loss and ask for privacy at this tragic time.”

FCO permanent secretary Sir Simon McDonald said it was “simply shattering news” for all in the department.

“I knew Steven personally and he was an exemplary officer and a lovely man,” he said. “He was just starting out on what was sure to be an outstanding career and his friends around the world and across the FCO will miss him sorely. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

The UK ambassador to Hungary, Iain Lindsay, who had worked with Steven since last October, said the whole team and their families were “deeply saddened and shocked at Steven’s passing”.

He added: “Steven was a dear colleague and friend who had made a tremendous impression in Hungary since his arrival last October with his personal warmth and his sheer professionalism, not least his excellent Hungarian.

“As our fellow Scot Robert Burns, whose works we had recently recited together, wrote: ‘Few hearts like his, with virtue warm’d, Few heads with knowledge so inform’d.' We will miss him so much.”

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab said he was “desperately saddened by the news of Steven’s death and my heart goes out to his parents Steven and Carol”.

He added: “Steven was a dedicated diplomat and represented his country with great skill and passion. He will be missed by all those who knew him and worked with him.”

Steven joined the FCO in 2008, having been a graduate trainee at the Bank of Scotland. His first role was as a desk officer in the department’s migration directorate before spending three years as head of press and political internal, at the British Embassy in Saudi Arabia. This was followed by a stint as political officer in the British embassy in Afghanistan from 2014 to 2016, before he retuned to the UK for a job as chief of staff to FCO’s chief operating officer. He then had a two-year spell as head of corporate strategy and governance at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport until 2018. He took up the role in Budapest late last year.

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