Rankin named new Governor
John Rankin, the former British Ambassador to Nepal, has been named the next Governor of Bermuda, filling the post left by George Fergusson in August.
According to a Government House spokeswoman, Acting Governor Ginny Ferson will continue to hold the post until December, when Mr Rankin is expected to arrive on the island.
In a statement, Mr Rankin 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”
Mr Rankin joined the Foreign Commonwealth Office in 1988 as a legal adviser, working in both Britain and Geneva and assisting with the Northern Ireland peace process. He later served as the British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Consul-General in Boston and Head of the America's Directorate.
In his most recent post, Mr Rankin served as the Head of Mission of the British Embassy in Kathmandu, which was rocked with a 7.8 earthquake just six days after he arrived in April last year — something he later described as a “baptism by fire”.
Speaking to The Telegraph about the disaster, Mr Rankin said: “I think first of all you saw some buildings intact and some places where the walls had fallen down and you saw the damage, but the initial thing was seeing people. Seeing people in a confused condition, people standing there not really knowing what had happened, people trying to get themselves to open ground.
“When you do see what has happened to some people — the fact that I was in a retrofitted building, the fact that I have got a security team to assist puts us in a position where hopefully it means we can help people. But I can appreciate how terrifying it must have been for people who were in a more exposed situation.”
In the wake of the disaster, more than 150 British and Commonwealth citizens flocked to the embassy grounds, with many being given shelter in tents. The lawn later became temporary home for British medics and firefighters who travelled to Nepal to assist with recovery efforts.
Prior to joining the FCO, Mr Rankin practised as a solicitor in Scotland and was a lecturer in public law at the University of Aberdeen.
Michael Dunkley, the Premier, welcomed Mr Rankin's appointment, stating: “We are pleased to see that the FCO process of appointing a Governor for Bermuda has been completed. We note Mr Rankin's wide range of expertise, which we consider could be an asset to Bermuda's growth in the next few years.”