On 4th February 2013, Then-President Bob Howis accompanied by Committee Member Anitra Green visited the Embassy for a first meeting with the new British Ambassador, H.E. David Moran who had taken office at the beginning of January. It was a very friendly and informative meeting and Bob was able to present the Federation of Anglo-Swiss Clubs, its long history and its aspirations.
A born diplomat in more ways than one, David Moran followed family tradition in joining the diplomatic service – in fact he says “The Foreign Office runs in our blood.” He was born in Munich when his father was stationed there, and his American mother has her roots in Germany, but this doesn’t mean he already speaks German. “I had no German until I started learning it in July 2013, when I received the posting to Switzerland,” he smiles. “I am still studying!”
He already had experience of Switzerland, however, when he was responsible for bilateral relations with Switzerland and Liechtenstein in London in the 1990s. “I got to know and appreciate the country at that time,” he says, adding how much he admires the Swiss government model with its direct democracy. “I grew up with the Swiss model in my ears and it’s been very interesting learning more about it and finally moving here.”
David Moran has lived in twelve different countries, including Finland, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Georgia, and he has also been posted to Nairobi, Moscow and Paris. Having earned a BA degree in Soviet Studies in Oregon, where his mother lives, he speaks fluent Russian, and also French. And he plays the piano; for a time before joining the Foreign Office, he was a professional blues pianist, and he still plays for pleasure: “Here there’s one of the best Residence pianos I’ve come across.”
Commuting is a way of life for him and his wife, for she is based in London, working as a news journalist/producer for NBC. “We spent most of the last decade commuting between Central Asia and London; from here it’s a doddle!”
Asked about the challenges of being sent to Switzerland, he says: “It’s my seventh posting, and every single one has had things that are fascinating to follow. Here, for example, I am following Swiss politics closely, including the debates about their place in Europe. It’s a lovely place to be.”