Fielding, Sir Leslie

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Fielding, Sir Leslie

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1932 -



Leslie Fielding attended Queen Elizabeth's School 1943 - 1951.

After army service, he read Economics at Emmanuel College, Cambridge (but switched to History and dabbled in Theology). On graduation in 1956, he took second place in the open competition for entry to the Diplomatic Service.

This was not to be a farewell to academia. Sir Leslie subsequently studied Persian at the School of Oriental and African Studies; was a Visiting Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford (when he married a medieval history don at St Hilda’s); and eventually became Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex (1987 - 1992). He chaired the Geography Working Group for the National Curriculum in Schools and served for ten years as Honorary President of the University Association for Contemporary European Studies.

In the Diplomatic Service, Leslie Fielding spent sever years in the Foreign Office in London (on the West European Desk and in the ‘Think Tank’), as well as serving political assignments in overseas embassies in Tehran, Singapore, Phnom Penh, and Paris. He joined the External Relations Directorate-General in the European Commission in Brussels in 1973, as the Director with special responsibility for Europe’s relations with the US and the Commonwealth. He subsequently became European Commission Ambassador in Tokyo, returning to Brussels as Director-General (1982 - 1987).

After leaving the Commission, he was for some years a non-executive director of IBM (Europe) and a Special Adviser to Panasonic (Europe).

Leslie Fielding’s book Before the Killing Fields: Witness to Cambodia and the Vietnam War, with a preface by Chris Patten, was launched in November 2007. He had previously contributed to two anthologies of travel stories.

Sir Leslie was knighted on leaving the Commission. He was made an Honorary Fellow of Emmanuel College in 1990. He has been a Lay Reader in the Church of England for thirty years, in Exeter, Tokyo, Gibraltar, and Hereford Dioceses – serving also on the General Synod. He was made a Reader Emeritus in Hereford Diocese in 2007.


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