The Ambassador, Olivier Guyonvarch

Olivier Guyonvarch is the ambassador of France in Jamaica since October 2021.

Introducing the Ambassador

Born on the 18th of August 1965, Mr. Olivier Guyonvarch is a Senior Foreign Affairs Advisor. He was bestowed the honour of Knight of the Order of Merit (Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite), and is the recipient of the Foreign Affairs medal (gold level), as well as the medal of National Defense Volunteer Services and is a reservist citizen of the French Navy (CF).

A word from the Ambassador

Dear All, dear Compatriots, dear Jamaican friends,

I am happy to welcome you to the website of the Embassy of France in Jamaica. I thank you for your visit, and wish first of all to introduce myself. I am a career diplomat, specialist in China and the Law of the Sea. Prior to joining the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I pursued a technical degree in agriculture (1986). With a passion for Chinese language and culture, I completed a Master’s degree in Chinese in 1990 and from 1988, paid frequent visits to China and was posted there 3 times.
I joined the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs by way of the professional examination (concours) for Secretary of Chancery (1996-1998), then was promoted through examination to Secretary (2001) and Counsellor (2004).

I started my carrier at the Quai d’Orsay within the Department of Financial and Budgetary Affairs (1996-1998), and was subsequently appointed Vice-Consul of the Consulate General of France in Wuhan, China. (1998-2001). Following my posting in Wuhan, I returned to Paris to work within the Department for Asia and Oceania, as Desk Officer (2001-2005), firstly at the sub-directorate for Southern Asia, then the sub-directorate for the Far Eastern Orient (in charge of Chinese interior policy).

I was then posted to the Embassy of France in Beijing from 2005 to 2008 as the Head of the Press and Communications Section, then at the Embassy of France in Singapore as First Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission (2008-2012).

On my return to Paris I chose the position of Assistant Director of the Law of the Sea, of River law and Poles, within the Legal Affairs Department (2012-2016). It is during that period that I visited Kingston four times to head the French delegation at the International Seabed Authority, and during which I had the opportunity to appreciate this country and its culture.

I returned to Beijing in 2016-2017 as Advisor to the Ambassador on questions of international law and security. I was then appointed Consul General of France in Wuhan (2017-2021), a period marked by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the evacuation by air, organized by France, of 520 French citizens, Europeans and citizens of other nations.

I chose to be Ambassador in Kingston to lend my expertise to the service of the relationship between Jamaica and France, two countries which are neighbours across the French overseas collectivities in the West Indies. Both France and Jamaica possess strengths which complement each other, and each day I will work with my team on strengthening these bilateral ties, long woven in the areas of economics, culture, science, education and security. I hope to be able to, with each and every one of you, reinforce these ties to the benefit of our two countries and of our two peoples.

As Permanent Representative to the International Seabed Authority, I will monitor French interests in the exploration of deep sea mineral resources beyond areas of national jurisdiction. I will relay France’s positions in favor of the need to protect the environment of the deep seabed and to take into account the interests of developing States in the elaboration of the future operating regime.

Last updated on: 13 October 2021