Page last updated at 20:31 GMT, Tuesday, 28 April 2009 21:31 UK

Woman, 31, is youngest ambassador

Picture of Julie Chappell  from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Julie Chappell has appealed for more young people to join the FCO

A 31-year-old Dorset woman has become the UK's youngest ambassador, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office says.

Julie Chappell, from Shapwick, won a scholarship to St Swithun's School in Hampshire and studied international relations at the University of Oxford.

Ms Chappell, who will be posted to Guatemala next month, was awarded an OBE for her work in helping to form the governing council in Iraq.

She said: "Life is never dull - more young people should join the FCO."

Lacrosse international

"They should not get put off, they should apply for a job," added Ms Chappell.

The former pupil at Castle Court Preparatory School in Wimbourne has served in Jordan and Baghdad in Iraq, where she worked on the governing council.

Over the past 13 years, the FCO high-flier has also worked in Sudan, Chad, Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea.

She once represented England at lacrosse, winning a bronze medal at the under-19s World Championships in the USA.

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