Francis Cornish CMG, LVO was born in Britain in 1942. He was educated at Charterhouse and the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.
He was commissioned into the army in 1962, joining the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1968.
In 1970, he was posted to Kuala Lumpur, for commercial and language training, before moving to Jakarta in 1971 as Third Secretary, Commercial.
In 1973, he was posted to the FCO in London as First Secretary with specific responsibility for Cyprus issues.
He was then posted to Bonn in 1976 to cover the European Community's political and economic affairs.
In 1980 he was seconded as assistant private secretary to The Prince of Wales.
Following this, in 1983, he became High Commissioner to Brunei.
A posting to Washington in the United States followed in 1986, where he was press counsellor and head of British Information Services in New York.
From there he went back to the FCO in London, where in 1990 he became head of news department and press secretary to the then Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd.
He came to Hong Kong in September 1993 as Senior Trade Commissioner at the British Trade Commission.
Mr Cornish is married and has three daughters.