Sir Roger Tomkys was educated at Bradford Grammar School and Balliol College, Oxford, where he took a Double First in Classics.
In 1960 he entered the Foreign Service, Following Arabic studies in Lebanon, his postings included Jordan, Libya, Athens and Rome before appointments as Ambassador to Bahrain and to Syria and High Commissioner in Kenya. In London he served in both the Cabinet Office and the FCO.
As Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge, from 1992 to 2004 he served on numerous University bodies and as President of the Cambridge University Golf Club. He was a Governor of Framlingham College and of Tonbridge School , Chairman of the Anglo-Hellenic League and President of the British Society for Middle East Studies. From 2004 to 2010 he was Chairman of the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce.