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Denise Holt speaker

Denise Holt

London, UK

One of the most successful female diplomats of her generation

Spanish and Latin America specialist with a wide ranging portfolio of business interests, including banking, health and education

Chair or member of wide range of internal Board and other committees

Dame Denise Holt, DCMG was British Ambassador to Spain and Andorra (2007-09), and British Ambassador to Mexico (2002-05).

Denise now holds a broad portfolio of roles in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, including Chairman of M&S Bank, NED and member of the Risk Committee of HSBC Bank plc, NED of Scottish Power Energy Network Holdings Ltd (a subsidiary of the leading Spanish energy company, Iberdrola).

As a Governor and NED of Nuffield Health, Denise has a particular interest in a number of issues in the field of public health. She is a member of the NHS Pay Review Body, and independent chair of Nominations for the Alzheimer’s Society.

As a member of the Council of Bristol University and former Board member of Ofqual (the examinations regulator) Denise also has a strong interest in education. She is Chair of the Institute of Latin American Studies (University of London) and member of the Management Council of the Institute of Contemporary Spanish Studies at the LSE.

Denise joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1970 as Research Analyst for Spain and Portugal. Subsequent postings included Director of Central America Section and First Secretary of the British Embassy in Brazil. Denise also served as Assistant Director for Human Resources, FCO (1999-2001) and Director for Migration (2005-07).

Our Comment

"Denise is an unstuffy diplomat with strong interpersonal skills. As her broad portfolio of roles in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors suggests, Denise currently focuses her time on banking, health and education. Denise also has a particular interest in, and experience of, mentoring and supporting women as they reach Board level. She speaks excellent Spanish, French and Portuguese."

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