Penwortham Girls’ High School alumna named as UK’s top diplomat

An alumna of a Penwortham school has been hailed as a “shining example of what can be achieved if you have the determination, ambition and commitment to fulfil your dream”.

Monday, 10th February 2020, 5:00 pm
Penwortham Girls High School alumna appointed as the UKs ambassador to the US. Pic Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Dame Karen Pierce, a former pupil at Penwortham Girls’ High School, has been congratulated on being appointed to the most prestigious role in the UK’s diplomatic service.

The “outstanding and accomplished diplomat” is to become the UK’s first woman ambassador to US.

Congratulating Dame Karen, head teacher at Penwortham Girls’ Karen Pomeroy said: “We were delighted to learn that one of our former students, Dame Karen Pierce, has been appointed to such an extremely prestigious post.

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“Here at Penwortham Girls’ we have been following her illustrious career with great interest and it has come as no surprise to hear of her most recent success, given the high esteem in which she is clearly held. Like so many of our alumnae, Dame Karen Pierce is an inspiration to our students.

"She is a shining example of what can be achieved if you have the determination, ambition and commitment to fulfil your dream.

“We would like to take this opportunity to wish Dame Karen every success in her new role.”

Accepting the position, Dame Karen said: "I am honoured to have been asked to represent the UK in the US. I think it is the UK’s single most important relationship. There is a deep bond between Britain and the US, built on many pillars.

"We have a fantastic cross-government team across the US and I look forward to working with them to strengthen and even further deepen the special relationship between our 2 countries and peoples."

Dame Karen’s appointment comes after Sir Kim Darroch was forced to stand down from the posting in Washington last year after diplomatic cables he wrote, criticising the Trump White House, were leaked to the media.

Since then, tensions between London and Washington flared after the British government signed off partial access to the UK’s 5G network to the Chinese telecoms firm Huawei.

PM Boris Johnson says he could not think of a “better person to drive forward our hugely important relationship with the United States at this time”.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said of the appointment: “It is a time of huge opportunity for the friendship between the UK and US and I am delighted that Karen Pierce will take forward this exciting new chapter in our relationship.

“We’re proud to be sending to Washington such an outstanding diplomat, and I warmly congratulate her on her appointment.”