AN IRVINE-born diplomat has been named in a list of the world’s most outstanding LGBT+ role models.

Alan Gemmell, who is Director of the British Council in India, was listed number 14 in the Financial Times’ 2018 Most OUTstanding LGBT Public Sector Executives.

The global poll includes some of the world’s most influential names in the LGBT community. Speaking exclusively to the Irvine Times Alan said it was “a real honour” to be included in the list.

He said: “It’s a great initiative by the Financial Times and it’s very special to be included particularly because the list has been expanded this year to include people from the US, recognising that more and more people are talking about and interested in promoting freedom and equality in the workplace.”

Alan, who grew up in Auchenharvie Place in Girdle Toll, says his work with the British Council is rooted in gender equality and tolerance and, being founder of the fiveFilms4freedom – the world’s first global online LGBT Film Festival – is something he personally feels passionately about.

He said: “I am really pleased and hope it reflects some of the work we have done here in India. “We are trying to make freedom a fundamental part of what we do.

“We are creating programmes that talk about gender equality. We have just taken 100 inspirational women to Downing Street to meet with the Prime Minister Theresa May. This is the first time the British Council has created a scholarship programme just for women.

“It was really special to take them to Downing Street and see them meet the PM and to say to people in India that we are open to bringing people to the UK.”

A former Annick Primary and Irvine Royal Academy pupil, Alan is a long way from his Irvine roots, but says he would love to see more homegrown talent within organisations like the British Council.

He said: “I would love to see more people from Irvine getting involved with institutions like the British Council.

“Seriously if you are interested in the world and making a difference please get involved.”