John Kerr

(Lord Kerr of Kinlochard)

1942 -

Diplomat, civil servant and businessman. Born in Grantown on Spey (Highland), Kerr was educated at Glasgow Academy and Pembroke College, Oxford. He joined the UK Diplomatic Service in 1966, serving there for most of his career and its head from 1997 to 2002 as Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office. While on secondment to HM Treasury, he served as Principal Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1981-84). He was UK Permanent Representative and Ambassador to the European Community (1990-95) and Ambassador to the USA (1995-97). Kerr became a Director of Shell Transport and Trading in 2002 and was central to the creation of the integrated Royal Dutch Shell group in 2005, of which he became Deputy Chairman. He served as a Director Scottish Power from 2009 and became its Deputy Chairman in 2012. Kerr also served as a Trustee of the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland (2005-).

Kerr was appointed CMG in 1987, KCMG in 1991, and GCMG in 2001, and raised to the peerage as Lord Kerr of Kinlochard in 2004, serving in the House of Lords as a cross-bencher. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2006), and was awarded honorary degrees by the University of St Andrews and the University of Glasgow (1999).

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