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#17: Interview – Tom Franey – A Diplomat’s Guide to Getting Things Done

by | Feb 23, 2020 | Interview, Podcasts | 0 comments

Tom Franey is a diplomat with the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. 

In this episode, Tom shares productivity tips learned while working in Afghanistan and his experience working in New York at the United Nations. 

He compares and contrasts living in half a shipping container, while in Kabul, to his experience living in Manhattan. 

We explore networking in those two very different places. And how trust and authenticity are crucial no matter where you are in the world. 

Please note that the views that Tom shares are his own and do not necessarily represent the views of the British Government. 


CSSF – The CSSF is a UK government fund which supports and delivers activity to tackle instability and to prevent conflicts.

Desk Officer – A desk officer leads the UK’s relationship with a specific country or acts as the lead on a thematic issues such as human rights, counter-terrorism or climate change.

G77 – a coalition of 135 developing countries, designed to promote its members collective economic interests and create an enhanced joint negotiating capacity in the United Nations. There were 77 founding members of the organization, but by November 2019 the organization had since expanded to 135 member countries (including China). Since China participates in the G77 but does not consider itself to be a member, all official statements are issued in the name of The Group of 77 and China.

General Assembly (UNGA) – All 193 Member States of the United Nations are represented in the United Nations General Assembly – one of the six main organs of the UN – to discuss and work together on a wide array of international issues covered by the Charter of the United Nations, such as development, peace and security, international law, etc.

Every year in September, all the Members meet in this unique forum at Headquarters in New York for the General Assembly session.

Language – parts of an agreement, resolution, statement or legal text. 

Programmes – projects that complement traditional diplomatic activity, respond effectively to changing international situations, and maximise funding from international partners, to the UK, and the private sector. 

Red Lines – policy that is unacceptable.

Rotation – the duration of an officer’s posting to a country. 

Rule of Law –  governs the relationship between the branches of the state. Its implementation ensures that none of those branches – executive, legislature or judiciary – is above the law, and that each must respect and ensure respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.