AP's True Masterclasses
John Buck

John Buck was British Ambassador to Portugal from 2004 to 2007 before becoming Group Director Government and Public Affairs at BG Group, the UK-based global energy company since merged with Shell.

During his diplomatic career John worked on European, UN Security Council and human resource issues and was posted to Bulgaria and Cyprus as well as Portugal. He was Chief of Staff to successive Cabinet Ministers in the Cabinet Office and Head of Public Diplomacy in the Foreign Office.

John was Head of the Government Communications and Information Centre during the Iraq war of 2003, coordinating the British Government's engagement with the media. He was then seconded to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad to establish a unified civilian and military media operation, before becoming Foreign Office Director for Iraq.

John is a founding partner of the Ambassador Partnership LLP, which offers political and problem-solving consultancy services to international business. He trains senior staff in governments and international organisations in communication, negotiation, country branding and leadership skills.

The Ambassador Partnership’s True Masterclasses share the techniques and insights of successful leaders all of whom are former senior diplomats with a wealth of high-level international experience.

Masterclasses are highly interactive, providing workshop participants with sufficient theory to offer an intellectual scaffold and share real-life experiences relevant to the subject.  Participants practice the techniques learned in hands-on exercises, specially written for the programme.  Feedback is provided in real time.

Our team have tackled complex international problems at the highest levels of government.  They share that experience through Masterclasses in negotiating, communicating and problem-solving.

Our Masterclasses are organised around bold presentations and realistic case studies / roleplays that encourage participants to analyse the problems and issues in a deeper way, and then use subtle skills drawn from professional mediation techniques to make progress. What’s going on here? What’s this problem about?


Masterclasses are delivered in-person or online.

- Online Masterclasses take place via Zoom or Webex. Each module is delivered in 3 - 4 hour online sessions

- In-person Masterclasses when delivered in London will be held at a convenient central London location

- In-person Masterclasses can also be held outside the UK according to demand

- Masterclasses are run on the basis of no more than eight participants to one leader

- Programmes and prices available on request

- Education joint ventures with other organisations will be considered

Our Clients

We have delivered Masterclasses for international organisations, national governments and private sector clients:

• Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH)

• International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

• International Criminal Court (ICC)

• International Labour Organization (ILO)

• International Committee Red Cross (ICRC)

• International Telecommunications Union (ITU)

• Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

• Provisional Treaty Secretariat of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBTO)

• Southern African Development Community (SADC)

• United Nations Department for Peacekeeping Operations (UNDPKO)

• United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

• United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (UNMICT)

• United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA)

• United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

• United Nations Office, Geneva (UNOG)

• United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR)

• UN Secretariat, New York

• UN Staff System College, Turin (UNSSC)

• United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

• UN Women

• United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF)

Foreign ministries and diplomatic academies in Austria, Bahrain, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Myanmar, Netherlands, Bahrain, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, UAE, United Kingdom and Vietnam.

What our Clients say about us

“My instincts did not let me down when I decided to follow the entire programme - one of the highlights during my five years in charge of staff development”

United Nations Office at Geneva: Speechwriting Workshop

“A great effort, many thanks.  It was appropriate that the course was designed for us.  The roleplays helped a lot to imagine crisis management in the real world"

Crisis Management course for senior Foreign Ministry officials

“Thanks for one of the finest courses I’ve had the privilege of attending: such challenging exercises and interactions. I find myself more prepared to negotiate confidently in the future.”

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA): Negotiation Skills

“Already in two specific occasions during the last week I benefited from your advice on how to write clear and effective messages. Again, a million thanks for the effective training”

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA): Leadership Skills

“A LOT of information that I hope to apply.  Well done all 4 days!  I’ll gladly attend ANY training you offered”

“Drinking from a firehose.  If I can put 15% into practice, my delivery will have improved greatly”

Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW): Briefing and Advanced Presentation Skills

“A great and memorable course.  Probably the best course on communication I’ve ever had”

“Entertaining, practical, well-structured and useful”

United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC): Talking-Points and Speechwriting Webinars

“Thank you for your excellent help and tips! Wow - you are really good at this. I must say I am impressed”

Eurocontrol: Verbal Communication Skills