Fouzia Younis, a British Pakistani diplomat, has made history by becoming the first British Muslim woman to be appointed as Head of a Diplomatic Post.
She has been appointed as His Majesty’s British Consul General to Toronto, and will soon be leaving her current role as a senior British diplomat in Islamabad to take up her new position.
Fouzia Younis announced this amazing news on her social media with the caption:
‘Job News: Privileged to be appointed as His Majesty’s British Consul General to Toronto Special moment as we think it’s the 1st time (but don’t have data) that a British Muslim woman has been appointed as Head of a Diplomatic Post. I won’t be the last.’
To my aba who used to drop me at Digbeth Coach Station at 4 am so I could get to my work interviews, & my late ama who stood up for 18 year old me to go to uni & waited at bus stops to walk me home through dark streets. You went without for our today. Shukriya
— Fouzia Younis (@YounisFouzia) March 24, 2023
Younis was born in Birmingham to Pakistani parents and is fluent in both Urdu and Punjabi. She graduated from the Universities of Birmingham and Cambridge before joining the UK Foreign Service. Three years ago, she made history by becoming the first Pakistani-origin diplomat to be appointed as director of communications at the British High Commission in Islamabad.
Fouzia Younis’ appointment as the first British Muslim woman to head a diplomatic post is a significant milestone. It is a testament to her dedication, hard work, and commitment to serving her country. It is also a reflection of the UK’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, which is crucial in ensuring that the country’s foreign service reflects the diversity of the UK’s population.
Younis’ appointment is also an inspiration to young women of all backgrounds, showing them that they can achieve anything they set their minds to, regardless of their race, religion, or gender. It is important that young people, especially young women, see role models like Younis, who have succeeded in breaking down barriers and achieving their goals through hard work and dedication.
Younis paid tribute to her parents for their support and encouragement, particularly her late mother, Zohra Begum, who was a strong advocate of girls’ education and raised four successful children. She has previously worked on several diplomatic assignments, including leading UK strategic efforts across the Gulf Cooperation Council region, supporting UK’s security and humanitarian efforts in Bangladesh, and serving in Sri Lanka during the conflict period.
Younis has also held several leadership positions within the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) Race Network, and was previously the communication director for the Pakistan Network. She has been nominated for several awards for her innovation and expertise and is a passionate advocate for inclusion.
In her new role as His Majesty’s British Consul General to Toronto, Younis will be responsible for promoting British interests in Canada and supporting British citizens living in Canada. She will also be responsible for building relationships with Canadian officials and promoting trade and investment between the UK and Canada.
Younis’ appointment comes at a critical time for the UK, as it seeks to build new relationships and strengthen existing ones following its departure from the European Union. Canada is an important ally and trading partner for the UK, and Younis’ appointment is an indication of the UK’s commitment to strengthening its relationship with Canada.
Kudos to Younis for the amazing achievement. More power to her.
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