Lord Ricketts spent 40 years as a British diplomat before retiring in early 2016. His last post was Ambassador to France, where he was heavily involved with UK-French defence cooperation following from the 2010 Lancaster House Treaties. He was a member of the Advisory Commission for the 2013 French Defence White Paper. Before that he was the UK's first National Security Adviser (2010-12) and Permanent Under-Secretary at the FCO (2006-10). A particular strand to his career has been crisis management and politico-military affairs; he was involved in policy on the UK interventions in the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. Sir Peter was British Permanent Representative to NATO 2003-6.
Lord Ricketts is a strategic adviser to Lockheed Martin UK, a Visiting Professor at King's College London, a Non-Executive Director of Groupe Engie, and Chairman of the Normandy Memorial Trust building the British national memorial to those who fell under British command in the 1944 battle of Normandy.