Sir John Sawers has 36 years’ experience in diplomacy and intelligence, culminating in five years as chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) from 2009 to 2014. During his tenure, he modernised the Service and led it through major changes in operations, technology, and public accountability.
In that role, he took part in the UK National Security Council and the Joint Intelligence Committee, contributing both to assessments of the threats to the UK’s security and to the strategies and policy decisions on how to promote and protect British interests around the world. As MI6 chief, he led the service through a period of international political upheaval and high terrorist threat, including against the 2012 London Olympics. Prior to leading MI6 he was the UK’s Ambassador to the United Nations (2007-2009), Political Director of the Foreign Office (2003-2007), Special Representative in Iraq (2003), Ambassador to Cairo (2001-2003) and Foreign Policy Adviser to Prime Minister Tony Blair (1999-2001). In his earlier career he worked overseas in Yemen, Syria, South Africa and Washington.
In his presentations, Sawers is able to draw from his personal experience in managing the most challenging foreign and security policy issues of the last 20 years. He is a powerful look at the unpredictable global landscape, the forces and key players shaping the world, cyber security, and how organisations can make it work for them.