UK deputy head of mission gives lecture for aspiring diplomats
Nik Mehta, deputy head of mission at the British Embassy in Korea, gave a lecture to middle and high school students here at the “2019 Youth Ambassador Camp” in Seoul on Jan 11.
The Korean Culture Association, which works with diplomatic missions here to promote Korea, organized the annual event.
The association invited middle and high school students interested in becoming global leaders, such as diplomats, to improve their intercultural and global awareness.
Also a former deputy director of the U.K. intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters, Mehta spoke about his experiences as a diplomat.
Mehta, whose family comes from East Africa and India, spoke about his country’s leadership in the fields of diversity and gender equality.
“It was great to have this opportunity to speak with so many talented young people about careers in diplomacy and international relations,” he said. “In my various roles over the years, one of the most important things I have learned is that to be successful, each one of us has to be true to him or herself.
“If you’re honest about who you are, people will trust you. Once you have that trust, you can start to build relationships that can effect positive change — which is what successful diplomacy is all about.”
Mehta has been deputy head of mission since July 2018. He co-serves as the embassy’s minister counselor and director of trade and investment.
He joined the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2002, and has worked in Iraq, Uganda and Malaysia. His roles have primarily focused on conflict and security issues.
Before becoming the deputy head of mission in Seoul, Mehta was a deputy director at the Government Communications Headquarters for three years working on international cybersecurity.
He is an advocate of diversity and inclusion. He believes passionately that the diplomatic service should reflect U.K. society fully and that diversity is one of his country’s great strengths.
As part of efforts to help Korea nurture global leaders, the British Embassy in Korea has encouraged prospective students to apply for Chevening, the British government’s international scholarship program.
It was established in 1983 and funded by the Foreign and Com- monwealth Office and partner organizations, which include Diageo, Mansion House, the British Chamber of Commerce in Korea, the Bank of Korea and the Korea British Society.
Deputy Head of Mission Nik Mehta at the British Embassy in Korea speaks with a participant at the “2019 Youth Ambassador Camp” on Jan. 11.