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Jonathan Shaw speaker

Jonathan Shaw

London, UK
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Expert on cyber security and global conflict

Director of UK Special Forces (2003–06)

Commander of British forces in Iraq (2007)

“Anyone who is fortunate enough to have an audience with Jonathan will come away richer in thought, fired with intent and inspired to do better.” – Tony Henderson, co-founder, Oxford Technology Media & Finance Network

Major-General Jonathan Shaw is one of the most distinguished soldiers of his generation, and a global authority on the impact of developments in cyberspace and how to respond.

Educated at Trinity College, Oxford, Jonathan was commissioned into the Parachute Regiment in 1981. He was a platoon commander with 3rd Battalion, Parachute Regiment during the Falklands War. Having attended Staff College, Camberley, between 1989 and 1990, he was appointed Commanding Officer of 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment in 1997.

He commanded the Multi-National Brigade (Centre) in Kosovo (1998-99), and was head of Counter Terrorism at the Ministry of Defence over 9/11. Jonathan Shaw was appointed Director Special Forces in 2003, which saw him operating in and being responsible for policy towards the Islamic world. Through this he developed a strong understanding of Islamic developments, and the dynamics of the region. In January 2007 he became General Officer Commanding Multi-National Division (South East), Iraq, and went on to become Chief of Staff at HQ Land Forces in September that year.

Between 2009 and 2012 he was based at the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall as Assistant Chief of Defence Staff. His responsibilities included developing UK policy on cyber security, a role which gave Jonathan a unique global perspective on the risks posed to governments and businesses by cyber attacks, and strong opinions on how to manage them.

Jonathan is the author of “Britain in a Perilous World: The Strategic Defence and Security Review We Need” (Haus Publishing, 2014). Listed as one of the London Evening Standard’s “Books of the Year” (2014), he argues persuasively for the need to rethink how governments and Whitehall devise their strategies and reach crucial decisions.

Our Comment

"Jonathan is a lively and experienced speaker with a wide range of interests. Since leaving the army in 2012 he has spoken widely on the threat posed by cyber attacks, and continues to follow the subject closely. In 2013 he was military adviser for Sir Nick Hytner’s production of ‘Othello’ at the National Theatre."


On the BBC’s HardTalk (2012)



Cyber Security requires leadership (2013)


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