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Lord David Richards

David Richards

London, UK
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International figurehead on leadership and geopolitics

Chief of the Defence Staff, the UK's top military commander (2010-13)

Senior Adviser, International Institute for Strategic Studies (2013-present)

“Sir David drew on his exceptionally wide and personal experience of leadership and contained many insights of direct relevance to the company.” – Sir John Scarlett KCMG OBE, Chairman, Strategy Advisory Council

General David Richards, Baron Richards of Herstmonceux, is the former Chief of the Defence Staff – the professional head of the British Armed Forces.

General David Richards led operations in East Timor, Sierra Leone, and Afghanistan. He is best known for his command in Sierra Leone in 2000, when he interpreted his orders creatively to achieve much more than was at first thought possible, ensuring the ultimate defeat of the RUF rebels and the avoidance of much bloodshed in the capital, Freetown. He went on to command NATO forces in Afghanistan during the Alliance’s expansion of responsibility across the whole country.

Having first commanded the British Army, in 2010 David became Chief of the Defence Staff, the professional head of Britain’s armed forces and their strategic commander as well as the Prime Minister’s military adviser and a member of the National Security Council. In this capacity, amongst many other tasks, he played a major role in the Libyan campaign in 2011 and in devising the UK’s final strategy for Afghanistan.

He retired in July 2013. His UK operational awards include a Mention in Despatches, Commander of the British Empire, Distinguished Service Order and Knight Commander of the Bath; the first officer to receive an operational knighthood since World War 2. In 2011 he received the annual Churchillian Award for leadership. He was created Baron Richards of Herstmonceux in February 2014 and now sits in the House of Lords.

Amongst many other appointments David is a visiting Professor of Exeter University and an Honorary Fellow of both King’s College London and Cardiff University. He is Senior Adviser to the International Institute of Strategic Studies, an adviser to a number of governments and commercial businesses, Non-Executive Chairman of Arturius International Ltd and Chairman of Equilibrium Gulf.

Our Comment

"Respected throughout the world for his leadership style and strategic brilliance, Lord Richards' vision & communication skills brought him to the very top of his profession. Applying his military values to a business environment, his presentations on geo-strategy in an unstable world, the development of leadership talent and reflections of operational command are outstanding."


Lunch with the Generals (2013)


[youtube http://youtu.be/l7ht4ltsf-s?t=7m5s]

Chief of Defence Staff Lecture (2011)




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