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Joe White: UK appoints entrepreneur as first tech envoy to US

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The UK has appointed an entrepreneur as its first technology envoy to the United States and consul-general to San Francisco.

Joe White has worked for 20 years in the digital sector, including as a Silicon Valley investor.

It is the first time the two roles have been combined and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the move underlined the UK's commitment to the tech sector.

Mr White said it was an honour to represent the UK at a "critical time".

The Foreign Office said he had extensive experience as an entrepreneur and venture capital investor and most recently worked as a general partner at tech fund Entrepreneur First.

He was made an MBE in 2017 for services to technology businesses.

Mr Raab said: "The UK and the US are the largest investors in each other's economies and this important appointment further underlines our commitment to the tech sector.

"I am delighted Joe will take on this enhanced role as we look to build back better and support an innovative post-pandemic global economy."

Mr White said: "It is an honour to represent the UK at this critical time, and a pleasure to support our world renowned tech sector which continues to go from strength to strength.

"I am looking forward to working closely with UK government tech teams in the US and in the UK, to further our growing and important relationship with the US tech community."

Mr White will take up his appointment later this year and report to the British ambassador to the US.

Diplomacy was once about nation talking unto nation.

Well, not anymore. For power these days is held not just by countries but also by corporations - especially the technology giants in California.

So the UK has decided it needs a technology envoy to represent Britain to the likes of Apple and Amazon, Google and Facebook.

Our new man in Silicon Valley, Joe White, is not a smooth-talking Foreign Office lifer but a successful technology entrepreneur.

His job will be to engage with the technology sector, spot commercial opportunities and support collaboration on everything from trade to research and development.

His biggest challenge, however, may be defending the interests of millions of Britons whose daily lives are shaped by these powerful firms and their ubiquitous products.

Related Topics

  • Silicon Valley
  • United States
  • Foreign & Commonwealth Office