Charles Crawford


Diplomatic Contributor
Diplomatic Courier

Charles Crawford CMG is the author of Speechwriting for Leaders: Speeches that Leave People Wanting More, published by Diplomatic Courier in January 2015. He is a regular contributor to the Diplomatic Courier, and a public speaking and negotiation expert. He worked for 28 years in the U.K. Diplomatic Service including three postings as British Ambassador to Sarajevo, Belgrade, and Warsaw before starting a private consulting career in communication technique. A barrister and professional mediator, he draws on 28 years’ experience in the U.K. diplomatic service, much of it spent in former communist central and Eastern Europe.

In his early diplomatic career he served as FCO Speechwriter. He has contributed to speeches by members of the British Royal Family and successive U.K. Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers. In 1987 he wrote the U.K. Foreign Office’s first Guide to Speechwriting; 25 years later it remains the basis for the FCO’s speechwriting training.

He played a significant role in post-conflict reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including tackling the war crimes problem; in coordinating international support for democratic change in Serbia, Kosovo, and Croatia; and in helping negotiate important aspects of the 2005 E.U. Budget deal and 2007 E.U. Lisbon Treaty.

Since leaving the U.K. Diplomatic Service in 2007 he has worked as a communication skills consultant for many different private and public sector clients, including a leading European energy corporation, the United Nations, foreign ministries, and the head of a Western intelligence agency.

As well as drafting and delivering many speeches, articles, and media interventions over his FCO career, Charles Crawford produced a large body of official British government work in an unconventional direct style. His work was read and praised at the highest levels in London, NATO, and the European Union.

He appears frequently on the U.K. and international media to discuss international policy issues and diplomatic technique (CNN, Sky News, BBC, ITV, Voice of Russia) and is part of the Daily Telegraph (London) comment team. He is the only overseas contributor to the U.S. speechwriters website PunditWire.