Dame Barbara Woodward has been announced as the UK’s next Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Dame Barbara will bring her “formidable intellect and dynamic diplomatic skills” to the role “to tackle the toughest global challenges we face”.

Dame Barbara is currently the British Ambassador to China and previously served as the Foreign Office’s Director General for Economic and Consular Affairs and as the International Director of UK Border Force.

She succeeds Karen Pierce who was appointed to her new role as the first female British Ambassador to the United States earlier this year.

Dame Barbara said she is “honoured” to take up the position.

Mr Raab said: “I am delighted to announce Dame Barbara Woodward as our next Ambassador to the United Nations in New York.

“Dame Barbara will bring her formidable intellect and dynamic diplomatic skills to bear – to deliver for Britain, and forge the cooperation we need with our international partners to tackle the toughest global challenges we face.”

Foreign and Commonwealth Office Permanent Under-Secretary, Sir Simon McDonald, added: “The UK has a proud history of tackling the world’s most pressing issues through the United Nations.

“Barbara is a fantastic diplomat who has the skills and experience to lead this important work, and I congratulate her on the appointment.”

Dame Barbara said: “I am honoured and delighted to be asked to lead the UK’s mission at the United Nations at a time when the rules-based international system faces pressing global challenges and a significant reform agenda.

“The UK has a vital role to play as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and the UN’s third largest donor.”

Dame Barbara joined the Foreign Office in 1994 and has also previously worked at the UK Embassy in Moscow, as Head of the EU Enlargement Section from 1999-2001 and as Deputy Head of the Human Rights Policy Department between 2001 and 2003.