Andy Sparkes became British Ambassador to Kosovo on 28 April 2008, after presenting his credentials to President Sejdiu. His previous Foreign Office postings have been as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Congo (2004-7), Deputy High Commissioner to South Africa (2001-2004) and Deputy Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia (1999-2001).
Earlier in his career he was also posted to Turkey and Thailand. Senior jobs in London have included Assistant Human Resources Director, and Director for Services Exports in the UK’s Trade and Investment Promotion agency. Andy was awarded the CMG (Companion of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George) for his work in the Democratic Republic of Congo during its transition from civil war to democratic elections held in 2006. Andy also holds the professional qualification MCIPD (Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development).
He speaks some Albanian, but is still taking lessons! He also speaks fluent French, understands some Turkish, and has a little Thai and Indonesian. He is a reasonable amateur musician- he plays the piano and sings. He plays golf (badly, but he enjoys it) and likes sailing dinghies when he gets the chance. Andy is divorced and has two children- Edward who is a student at Birmingham University in the UK and Laura who is a school sixth former. They will visit him in Pristina.