Derek Auret is a South African civil servant who spent two decades in the Foreign Service from the 1970s to 1990s. He was Special Envoy with the rank of ambassador to the United Nations, Deputy Director-General of Foreign Affairs in the Middle East, and Chief Director for the Americas, Middle and Far East and Australaisa. Auret was also involved in negotiations around the independence of Namibia and Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. He was later chairman of the Western Cape Provincial Public Service Commission.