John was educated at the London School of Economics, Lehigh University Pennsylvania, and Pembroke College Cambridge, where he wrote a Ph.D thesis on Anglo-American relations. He was a British career diplomat for 35 years starting as a research specialist on North America . Thereafter he served in Santiago, Washington DC and Oslo ending with two tours as Ambassador (Caracas,and Buenos Aires). He also worked in the Cabinet Office ,and on two secondments to industry (BAe Systems, and Shell). On retiring John returned to the academic world as the Robin Humphreys Fellow at the Institute for the Study of the Americas, School of Advanced Study, London University and thereafter as a Senior Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics.
Currently he is Chair of Latamconult Ltd, Chair of Canning House (covering relations with Latin America) , and a Trustee of Atlantic College , Wales.
He's married to Lynne, has two sons (one born in Washington D.C.) enjoys the theatre and sport, including learning to fly fish (not very successfully) .