Vivien Life CMG is a recently retired former senior British Diplomat and Trade negotiator with extensive experience of leadership overseas and in Government in London. She has had a particular focus on trade, economic and EU policy.

Most recently she was a Director in then Department for International Trade (2016-22), where she was part of the leadership team who created an independent UK trade policy and negotiating capability after the Brexit referendum. She was chief negotiator on trade deals with Singapore and Australia, the latter being the first from scratch UK bilateral trade deal after Brexit.

Before that British Ambassador to Denmark (2012-2016), managing a team of 50+ representing British interests in Denmark, with a particular focus on supporting the UK’s renegotiation of its relationship with the EU and on securing Danish investment in the UK, particularly in energy.

In earlier appointments at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, she was Head of the Climate and Energy Department (2010-12), and Head of the Enlargement South-east and Wider Europe Group (2008-10), using enlargement and neighbourhood policies to seek to transform the countries on the borders of Europe. She was posted to Washington covering trade policy in the 1990s.

Throughout she has taken a particular interest in developing and mentoring staff and in the Department for International Trade she was Gender Champion.

Since retiring as well as working with CPDS she has been volunteering with charities who support asylum seekers, including teaching English and mentoring.

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