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Falkland Islands: Change of Governor: 2017

Nigel Phillips CBE has been appointed to succeed Colin Roberts CVO as Governor the Falkland Islands in September. Colin Roberts had to leave Stanley unexpectedly in May for medical reasons but, happily, is well enough to return to Stanley for a farewell parade on 16 July. There will be criticism from predictable Argentine sources about his successor’s senior military background but more reasonable figures should understand the open recruitment methods now being used for senior appointments in the UK Diplomatic and Home Civil Services. 

Nigel J Phillips CBE has been appointed Governor-designate of the Falkland Islands and Commissioner-designate of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; he is expected to take up his posts in September 2017. He will be accompanied by his wife, Emma; they have one daughter. 

Nigel Phillips has had a distinguished career in the RAF and, since the year 2000, in various appointments, including Defence Attaché posts in Stockholm, Warsaw, and UKREP Brussels. He was awarded his CBE as a Group Captain in 2013 and was promoted Air Commodore substantively whilst in UKREP Brussels. These posts will have given him good experience of working in the diplomatic environment and he will have gained a broad overview of strategic international issues during his time in the Royal College of Defence Studies and in the Ministry of Defence. 

His military background may provoke hostile criticism from predictable sources in Argentina as further “evidence” of the UK’s “militarisation” of the South Atlantic. This sort of unnecessary spin can easily be dismissed (and is unlikely to be espoused by President Macri). The bleat from Rosana Bertone, Governor of the Argentine Province of Tierra del Fuego, that she is already the Governor of the “Malvinas” can be safely ignored. 

Colin Roberts, who was appointed in 2014 following his time as Director, Overseas Territories in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) , was unexpectedly forced to leave the Falklands for medical reasons in May ‘17. Happily, he is fit enough to return to the Falkland Islands between 10 and 18 July to take his leave of the Falkland islanders. This will include a final parade and gun salute on 16 July. He was well liked and respected in the community. 

Recent Career Appointments of Nigel Phillips CBE 

  • 1984 – 2000: RAF (various appointments) 
  • 2000 – 2001: Defence Academy: Advanced Command and Staff Course 
  • 2001 – 2003: Defence Communications Services Agency 
  • 2003 – 2007: Defence Attaché, HM Embassy Stockholm, Sweden 
  • 2007 – 2009: Defence College Communications Information Systems: Deputy Commandant 
  • 2010 – 2012: Defence Attaché, HM Embassy Warsaw, Poland 
  • 2012 – 2013: Defence Academy: Language Training (Russian) 
  • 2013 – 2014: Royal College of Defence Studies 
  • 2014 – 2016: MOD: Head of Russian Strategic Studies & Wider Europe Policy 
  • 2016 – 2017: Deputy Military Representative, UKREP Brussels
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