Clare Fearnley took up the role of New Zealand Ambassador to China in early May 2018, cross-accredited to Mongolia.
Clare has just completed a three year term as Ambassador in Seoul (2015-2017), cross-accredited to Pyongyang. Her previous off-shore roles include Consul-General in Shanghai (1998-2002) and head of the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei (2004-2007), as well as working at the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva (1993-1996), cross-accredited to the United Nations Office in Nairobi. Early in her career she was seconded to the Canadian Foreign Ministry (1992).
While working in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Wellington, Clare was most recently Director-General for North Asia and before that was Director-General for Asia-Pacific Regional work. She has served as APEC and ASEAN Senior Official, as well as acting as Principal Legal Adviser and as Head of the Trade Law Unit, where she led international trade litigation, including cases in the WTO. Earlier in her career, her MFAT roles included Deputy Director-General of Trade Negotiations. Before joining the Ministry, Clare worked in the private sector in Asia.
Clare has arts and law degrees from Canterbury University (NZ). She is a Mandarin speaker and studied at Beijing University and at the Beijing Languages Institute in the 1980s.