Michael Jay, Baron Jay of Ewelme

Michael Jay, Baron Jay of Ewelme

Michael Hastings Jay, Baron Jay of Ewelme, GCMG (born 19 June 1946) is a former British diplomat and is currently Chairman of the House of Lords Appointments Commission.



Jay was born in Hampshire and educated at Winchester College, Magdalen College, Oxford, of which he is an honorary fellow, and London University's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). He served as a VSO teacher in Zambia.

Diplomatic career

Jay joined the Ministry of Overseas Development in 1969, serving in London, Washington (at the World Bank) in 1973 and as First Secretary (Development) at the British High Commission, New Delhi, in 1978. He transferred to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1981, serving as Private Secretary to the Permanent Under-Secretary of State. As Counsellor he served in the European Secretariat of the Cabinet Office from 1985 to 1987.[1] He was posted as Counsellor in the Paris Embassy from 1987 to 1990, returning to the FCO as Director for European Affairs until 1994. He was appointed Director General for European and Economic Affairs 1994-96, following which he became a Senior Associate Member of St Antony's College, Oxford. From July 1996 to September 2001 he was British Ambassador to France. In July 2001, he was appointed Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and thus Head of the Diplomatic Service, a post he took up on 14 January 2002.

In 2005, Jay served as the Prime Minister's Personal Representative (Sherpa) to prepare the G8 Summit at Gleneagles in addition to his PUS duties.

Post retirement

Upon his retirement from HM Diplomatic Service on 27 July 2006, he was recommended for a life peerage, and this was gazetted as Baron Jay of Ewelme, of Ewelme in the County of Oxfordshire, on 18 September 2006.[2]

Lord Jay became the Chair of Merlin, the British health and medical aid agency, in May 2007.[3] He is also the Patron of the English Trust for European Education (ETEE).[4]


Jay married Sylvia Mylroie in 1975. Lady Jay has been vice chairwoman of L'Oreal UK since September 2005, Chairman of Food From Britain since January 2006, and is an independent non-executive director of St-Gobain. She also chairs the Pilgrim Trust and is a trustee of the Entente Cordiale Scholarship Scheme.

Styles and Honours

  • Michael Jay, Esq. (birth–13 June 1992)
  • Michael Jay, Esq., CMG (13 June 1992–31 December 1996)
  • Sir Michael Jay, KCMG (31 December 1996–17 June 2006)
  • Sir Michael Jay, GCMG (17 June 2006–18 September 2006)
  • The Rt Hon. The Lord Jay of Ewelme, GCMG (18 September 2006—)


  1. ^ The Diplomatic Service List 1989 (page 219), HMSO, ISBN 0 11 591707 1
  2. ^ "Announcement of Michael Jay's introduction at the House of Lords". 12 October 2006. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200506/minutes/061012/ldminute.htm. 
  3. ^ Merlin "Merlin website". http://www.merlin.org.uk Merlin. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  4. ^ ETEE "Patron of ETEE". http://www.etee.org.uk ETEE. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 

External links

Offices held

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Sir Christopher Mallaby (ru:Кристофер Маллаби)
British Ambassador to France
Succeeded by
Sir John Holmes
Government offices
Preceded by
Director-General, European and Economic Affairs of the
Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Sir John (now Lord) Kerr
Permanent Secretary of the
Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Succeeded by
Sir Peter Ricketts

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