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  • Thomas Lowndes Bullock (1845 - 1915)
    Author of "Mandarin Lessons", held various consular posts in China, beginning in 1869. He was British consul at Shanghai in 1897. On his retirement he succeeded James Legge in the Chair of Chinese at O...
  • Guy Henry Bullock (1887 - 1956)
    Guy Henry Bullock (23 July 1887 – 12 April 1956) was a British diplomat who is best known for his participation in the 1921 British Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition. As expedition mountaineers...
  • Seymour Parker Gilbert (1892 - 1938)
    Seymour Parker Gilbert (October 13, 1892 - February 23, 1938) was an American lawyer, banker, politician and diplomat. He is chiefly known for being Agent General for Reparations to Germany, from Oct...
  • Gideon Walrave Boissevain (1897 - 1985)
    1923-1924 : Vice-consul van Nederland te Shanghai 1926-1929 : idem te New York Consul te Lima, Santiago en San Francisco 1945-1947 : Chef economische en consulaire zaken bij de Nederlandse ambass...


Pictured Right:Sir Thomas Elyot was an English diplomat and scholar (1490-1546)

A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with one or more other states or international organizations. The main functions of diplomats are representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state, initiation and facilitation of strategic agreements, treaties and conventions, as well as the promotion of information, trade and commerce, technology and friendly relations. Seasoned diplomats of international repute are used in international organisations (e.g. United Nations) as well as multinational companies for their experience in management and negotiating skills. Diplomats are members of foreign services and diplomatic corps of various nations of the world.

Diplomats are the oldest form of any of the foreign policy institutions of the state, predating by centuries foreign ministers and ministerial offices. They usually have diplomatic immunity.

Status and public image

Diplomats have generally been considered members of an exclusive and prestigious profession. The public image of diplomats has been described as "a caricature of pinstriped men gliding their way around a never-ending global cocktail party".[12] J. W. Burton has noted that "despite the absence of any specific professional training, diplomacy has a high professional status, due perhaps to a degree of secrecy and mystery that its practitioners self-consciously promote."[13] The state supports the high status, privileges and self-esteem of its diplomats in order to support its own international status and position.

The high regard for diplomats is also due to most countries' conspicuous selection of diplomats, with regard to their professionalism and ability to behave according to a certain etiquette, in order to effectively promote their interests. Also, international law grants diplomats extensive privileges and immunities, which further distinguishes the diplomat from the status of an ordinary citizen.