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William McCleary
(30 March 1949 - )
William Boyd McCleary, CMG, CVO
Former Governor of the British Virgin Islands

Wiliam Boyd McCleary is a retired British diplomat and a former Governor of the British Virgin Islands.

Early life and education

Wiliam Boyd McCleary was born on 30 March 1949 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom. He was educated at Queen's University Belfast.


In September 2010 he was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II on the advice of the British government, to represent the Queen as Governor of the British Virgin Islands, and to act as the de facto head of state in the Territory.

Shortly after his arrival in the British Virgin Islands, the territory was damaged by Hurricane Earl. Although at the time of his appointment there was a degree of tension over constitutional matters between the United Kingdom and the British Virgin Islands, McCleary won plaudits in the local press for his deft handling of the situation. Currently, he is on the advisory board of OMFIF where he is regularly involved in meetings regarding the financial and monetary system. Previously, he was also one of the patrons of the British Theatre Playhouse, a company aiming at the production of British theatrical plays and musical shows.

Prior to taking up his role as Governor, he was British High Commissioner to Malaysia. His career highlights include the following:

  • 2006-2010: Kuala Lumpur, High Commissioner
  • 2005-2006: FCO, Director of Prism Global Roll-out
  • 2000-2005: Dusseldorf, Director General Trade & Investment Germany / Consul-General
  • 1997-2000: FCO, Head of Estate Strategy
  • 1993-1997: Ottawa, Counsellor (Economic)
  • 1990-1993: Ankara, Deputy Head of Mission and Director of Trade Promotion in Turkey
  • 1988-1990: FCO, Assistant Head of Far Eastern Department
  • 1985-1988: Seoul, First Secretary, Head of Chancery and Consul
  • 1981-1985: FCO, Western Europe Department and European Community Department (External)
  • 1975-1980: Bonn, First Secretary Agriculture later Chancery
  • 1972-1975: Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland.

Personal life

McCleary is married to wife Jenny McCleary and the father of three children.

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Occupation Diplomat
Date of Birth 17 April 1958
Place of Birth Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
Notable Accomplishments
Governor of the British Virgin Islands: 20 August 2010 - 1 August 2014
British Virgin Islands
Governors of the British Virgin Islands

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