Melinda Simmons is a British diplomat and the current non resident Ambassador of the United Kingdom in Ukraine (since 2019).
Early life and education
Simmons. who is of Polish, Lithuanian and Ukrainian heritage, was born to Jewish parents in the East End of London. She gained a BA (Hons) in modern languages (French and German) from the University of Exeter in 1988, as well as an MA in European politics from the University of North London in 1995; she is an associate member of the Chartered Institute for Personal Development.
From 1990 to 1992 she was head of international department/associate director at the Register Group (international marketing and advertising research). She was international marketing manager at Primesight International (outdoor advertising) from 1992 to 1994. From 1994 to 1998 she was public affairs officer, international alert (conflict resolution NGO). From 1998 onwards she held roles at the Department for International Development (DfID).
From 1998 to 2003 Simmons held various positions including working with businesses to develop an ethical trademark; managing land restitution in the former Soviet Union; developing global policy on conflict prevention and resolution and setting up the Global Conflict Prevention Pool, bringing together the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Ministry of Defence and DfID to collaborate on conflict prevention/resolution programmes in South Asia and the Middle East; she was head of the Africa Team, 2500 Unit (2003–05).
From 2005 to 2008 she was head of DfID's Southern Africa office in Pretoria. She was deputy director; Middle East and North Africa (2008–09), deputy director; Humanitarian Emergency Response Review (2010–11), head of the Europe Department (2011–13).
From 2013 to 2016 she worked at the FCO as deputy director of the conflict department. She was the national security secretariat, head, Joint Programme Hub from 2016 to 2017 and national security secretariat, director, National Security Secretariat Joint Funds Unit from 2017 to 2018.
From 2018 to 2019 she underwent full-time language training (in Ukrainian) at the FCO.
Since 2019 Simmons has been Ambassador in Kyiv, Ukraine. She departed Kyiv on 19 February 2022 and finally left Ukraine on 7th March 2022 due to the Russian invasion.