Bermuda’s new Governor: John Rankin, CMG, diplomat, and legal scholar

The UK’s FCO and Bermuda’s Government House have just announced the appointment of Mr John Rankin, CMG, as the next Governor of Bermuda, in succession to George Fergusson. Mr Rankin will arrive in Bermuda in December 2016.

Mr Rankin first joined the FCO as a Legal Adviser in 1988 and he worked in that capacity both in the UK and Geneva.

His last substantive overseas posting was as the British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, although since 2015 he has also been acting as the Head of Mission to Nepal.

He was previously Consul-General in Boston between 2003 and 2007 (making this Bermuda posting the second posting in his diplomatic career in which he has followed immediately in succession to George Fergusson), and he has also served as Head of the Americas Directorate in the FCO.

He is a graduate of the University of Glasgow and of McGill University, Montreal.

Prior to joining the FCO he qualified and practised as a solicitor in Scotland and was a lecturer in public law at the University of Aberdeen.

On his appointment as Governor of Bermuda, Mr Rankin is reported to have said “I very much look forward to taking up the role of Governor and working in partnership with the elected Government in the interests of the people of Bermuda. Bermuda has a well-deserved reputation as a vibrant place to do business and an attractive place to live or to visit. That vibrancy will be all the more evident as we approach the America’s Cup next year and Bermuda has the opportunity to showcase itself to the full on the world stage

Although not the focus of the FCO’s and Government House’s press release, there are many other interesting aspects of Mr Rankin’s life and experience to date. For example:

  • His LLM thesis at McGill University, first published in August 1984 and available online, was on The Right of Self-Determination: its nature, content and beneficiaries in International Law. He should be well-qualified, therefore, to address any issues that might arise regarding Bermuda’s rights of self-determination as a British Overseas Territory;
  • He experienced, first hand, the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal in April 2015. He should be well-equipped, therefore, to withstand an Atlantic hurricane or two; and
  • On his third day as British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Mr Rankin managed to get lost in the streets of Colombo. Hopefully, he will find Bermuda’s narrow, winding roads slightly easier to navigate.

For more information, see:





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