UK appoints its first woman high commissioner to India

  • Lindy Cameron, a graduate of Oxford University who has previously served in Iraq and Afghanistan, will take over as high commissioner to India this month.

Shashank Mattoo
First Published11 Apr 2024
Cameron’s appointment comes amid a rapid improvement in bilateral ties.
Cameron’s appointment comes amid a rapid improvement in bilateral ties.

Lindy Cameron, the former CEO of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, will take over as the country’s first-ever woman high commissioner to India.

The British High Commission said, “Ms Lindy Cameron CB OBE has been appointed British High Commissioner to the Republic of India in succession to Mr Alex Ellis CMG who will be transferring to another diplomatic service appointment. Ms Cameron will take up her appointment during April 2024.” Ellis will be Britain’s next ambassador to Spain.

Cameron’s appointment comes 70 years after India appointed Vijaylakshmi Pandit as its high commissioner in London in 1954. The sister of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Pandit served in that capacity until 1961.

Cameron, a graduate of Oxford University, has previously served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and held senior positions in the UK’s international development department, including director general for country programmes.

In recent years, a number of women have come to hold Britain’s top diplomatic positions abroad, including in Washington, Beijing, Paris, Tokyo and Berlin.

Cameron’s appointment comes amid a rapid improvement in bilateral ties. India is the UK’s 12th-largest trade partner. Trade has increased even as the two countries negotiate a free-trade agreement that could be signed this year.

The two nations are also attempting to improve their defence cooperation. When defence minister Rajnath Singh visited London earlier this year, the two countries explored new security-related avenues. In 2025 his colleague Grant Shapps announced plans to deploy the nation's carrier strike group and littoral response group to the Indian Ocean.

London also opened a special office dedicated to India in an effort to strengthen defence ties. The UK was one of India's main defence suppliers in the years following Independence, but ties soured as the Soviet Union became India's go-to defence ally.

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