22-25 AUGUST 2023



George Barrett

George Barrett is the new Director of the British Council in South Africa where she joined the team at the end of 2022. Prior to this George worked at the British High Commission heading up the UK’s trade development portfolio for the Southern African Customs Union and Mozambique. George came to South Africa in 2008, and emersed herself in the Higher Education sector as a student and Lecturer of International and Political Studies at Rhodes University.

Before coming to South Africa, George began her career in the international development space; at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in communications and knowledge management, and the Africa Educational Trust on basic computer, language and numerical literacy programmes. George has also worked at the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), collaborating with civil society and political parties to strengthen democratic practices across the African continent, and helped to establish the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Somaliland in the UK Parliament.

George is passionate about youth and female empowerment, and the transformative potential that education and skills opportunities create to bring about positive inclusive and sustainable societal transformation. She also believes firmly in and actively promotes greater cultural understanding and respect between communities through the power of education, arts and language, which she champions in her current role leading the UK’s cultural relations team at the British Council in South Africa.