Dr. Richard Montgomery CMG has been appointed as the new British High Commissioner to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, succeeding Ms. Catriona Laing CB who will be transferring to another Diplomatic Service appointment. Montgomery is expected to take up his appointment in April 2023.
Montgomery’s appointment as the British High Commissioner to Nigeria comes at a critical time in the bilateral relationship between the United Kingdom and Nigeria, as both countries seek to expand their trade and economic ties, deepen security cooperation, and collaborate on key global issues such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Montgomery brings with him a wealth of experience in international development, having worked for over two decades in various senior positions in the Department for International Development (DFID) and the World Bank Group. He has worked extensively in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean, and has a deep understanding of the complex economic and social challenges facing developing countries.
Prior to his appointment as the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Montgomery served as the UK Executive Director to the World Bank Group in Washington, DC from 2018 to 2022. In this role, he represented the UK on the Board of the World Bank Group and oversaw the country’s engagement with the institution, which included supporting development programs and initiatives in developing countries.
Montgomery’s other roles in the DFID included serving as the Director for the Asia, Caribbean, and Overseas Territories (AsCOT) Division from 2015 to 2018, and as the Counsellor (Development) and Head of Office for DFID Pakistan from 2013 to 2015, and DFID Nigeria from 2009 to 2013. In these positions, he led the development and implementation of development programs and initiatives aimed at reducing poverty, promoting economic growth, and improving social services in the respective countries.
Montgomery holds a Doctorate (Ph.D.) in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge and has lectured in International Development at Swansea University. He is married to Naheed Bilgrami, and together they have two children.
As the new British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Montgomery is expected to continue building on the strong ties between the UK and Nigeria, which have been forged through decades of shared history, culture, and economic interests. He will play a key role in advancing UK-Nigeria relations and supporting Nigeria’s efforts to promote sustainable economic growth and development, strengthen democratic institutions, and improve the lives of its people.