Denis Keefe has been Ambassador to Serbia since June 2014, following 3 years as Ambassador to Georgia, and 4 years as Minister and Deputy Head of Mission in Moscow.
Denis joined the UK Foreign Office in 1982. At the British Embassy in Prague from 1984-88 he built a network of contacts with Charter 77 and other dissidents. He returned to London to work on European social policy and the Single Market, and in 1990 joined the team working on German Unification, taking part in the 2+4 talks and becoming Head of the German Desk. In 1991-2 as European Correspondent he worked on the EU’s new Common Foreign and Security Policy, taking part in the Maastricht European Council. He then joined the British High Commission in Kenya, concentrating on helping Kenya hold its first multi-party elections and on political development thereafter. In 1996 he was appointed Deputy Head of the Foreign Office South Asia Department and in 1997-8 he led the team preparing for the London Asia-Europe Summit, ASEM 2.
He returned to the British Embassy in Prague in 1998, and spent four years helping the Czech Republic prepare to join NATO and the EU. In 2002 he was seconded to the Cabinet Office to lead the team drawing up the UK’s national Counter Terrorism Strategy, CONTEST. He returned to the Foreign Office in 2003 as Head of China Hong Kong Department, and then Far Eastern Group, dealing with China, Japan, Korea and Mongolia.
Denis Keefe was Ambassador to Georgia from 2007-2010, helping Georgia to implement reforms, bringing it closer to the EU and NATO, and to deal with the consequences of conflict, including the 2008 war with Russia. He then moved to Moscow from 2010- 2014, representing the UK as Deputy to the Ambassador, and working with Russia both on major international issues and on bilateral relations, including during the Sochi Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
Denis Keefe was born in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England in 1958. He and his wife Kate have six children. He studied Classics at Churchill College Cambridge, gaining an MA, and then spent 3 years at Hertford College Oxford studying Hellenistic Greek poetry. His personal interests include sailing, walking, singing and playing the recorder. He speaks Serbian, besides a number of other languages, including Russian, Czech and Georgian.