UK deputy head of mis­sion gives lec­ture for as­pir­ing diplo­mats

The Korea Times - - EMBASSY ROW - By Yi Whan-woo yis­[email protected]­re­atimes.co.kr

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.

British Em­bassy

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.

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