A former diplomat and ex-Head of Government & Political Affairs at BP, John Gerson is an adviser to government and business, an independent director and consultant to companies, and a contributor to NGO and academic projects on international issues. Throughout his career he has held a number of posts in British diplomatic missions abroad with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and in the domestic Civil Service, including as First Secretary and HM Consul in Beijing 1974-1977. After secondment to the Northern Ireland Office from 1978-1979 and an appointment in London at the FCO, he was posted as Counsellor in Hong Kong from 1987-1992. Following a Visiting Fellowship in East Asian Studies at Princeton, he served in London with responsibility for the Far East and thereafter for Parliamentary, Legal, Press, and Security matters on the Board of Management until he left the service in 1999. During and after her Premiership he acted as Margaret Thatcher’s interpreter and personal adviser on China.
In 1999 Gerson was awarded the Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George. From 2012-2014 he was a Visiting Senior Research Fellow in War Studies at King’s College, London.