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Revolving Doors? Kate Smith, Shell UK Head of UK Government Relations

I’ve recently learned that a Kate Smith is about to become Director of the Americas Department at the FCO.  Would this by any chance be the same Kate Smith who moved from the FCO to Shell in 2008 as head of UK government relations?   Is there any word of that Kate Smith (for it must surely be she?) taking a sideways move back to the FCO?  This kind of revolving door move from diplomatic service to Shell and back surely, if that is the case, deserves some comment?

3 May 2012

By John Donovan

Printed below is an email I sent to Mr Michiel Brandjes on 1 May, which I also copied to Kate Smith, Shell UK Head of UK Government Relations. Mr Brandjes is Company Secretary & General Counsel Corporate of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

There has been no response thus far. Any response received will be added to this article.

Reminds me of a revolving door controversy in America also involving Shell.

As US Interior Secretary, Gale Norton was responsible for the 2006 decision to award valuable oil shale leases in Colorado to a Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary. Months later she became General Counsel of Shell Oil. We were approached and supplied Shell internal documents to a U.S. government agency investigating related allegations of corruption, of which Norton was eventually cleared.

JOHN DONOVAN EMAIL TO MR MICHIEL BRANDJES

From: John Donovan <[email protected]>
Subject: Kate Smith, Shell UK Head of UK Government Relations
Date: 1 May 2012 15:32:17 GMT+01:00
To: [email protected]
Cc: [email protected]

Dear Mr. Brandjes

Below is an extract from an email I received today from an eminent individual.

I’ve recently learned that a Kate Smith is about to become Director of the Americas Department at the FCO.  Would this by any chance be the same Kate Smith who moved from the FCO to Shell in 2008 as head of UK government relations?   Is there any word of that Kate Smith (for it must surely be she?) taking a sideways move back to the FCO?  This kind of revolving door move from diplomatic service to Shell and back surely, if that is the case, deserves some comment?

Could you please let me know if this is the same Kate Smith?

I have sent a copy to Kate Smith at Shell UK (if I have the right email address).

If I receive no response from either of you by close of business this Thursday, I will take that as confirmation that it is indeed the same Kate Smith.

Best Regards
John Donovan

SCREENSHOT TAKEN 1 MAY 2012

Responsibilities

  • Head of UK Government Relations

Background

Kate joined Shell in December 2008 as Head of UK Government Relations after a year’s secondment to the Shell International Government Relations team from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

During a twenty-plus year career in the FCO, she served in Athens; at the UK Mission to the United Nations in New York as part of the Security Council team; and most recently as Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Tehran. In London she has majored in multilateral work – arms control and disarmament, and political-military issues.

Kate and the Government Relations team manage Shell’s contacts across the businesses with policymakers and regulators across the UK Government.

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