John Sawers Keynote Speaker

  • Chief, British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) (2009-14)
  • British Permanent Representative to the United Nations (2007-09)
  • Expert on geopolitics and risk

John Sawers's Biography

Sir John Sawers is a keynote speaker and the former chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service.

John modernised the Service and led it through major changes in operations, technology, and public accountability. He was the first outsider to be appointed to SIS in decades, he draws from his experience in managing the most challenging foreign and security policy issues of the last 20 years, including the rise of China, the evolution of Russia, the threat of terrorism and cyber attack, the changes in the Middle East, and the negotiations in Iran.

With a total of 36 years working for the British government, Sir John is a diplomat with close ties to Downing Street and the foreign policy establishment.    Since leaving public service Sir John has been advising global companies and investors and in 2019 set up his own company, Newbridge Advisory which advises on geopolitics and risk.

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, and at home was involved in policy on the EU, Russia and the Middle East.

Sir John studied at the universities of Nottingham, St Andrews and Harvard..He is a visiting professor at King’s College London, a senior fellow of the Royal United Services Institute, and a governor of the Ditchley Foundation. He is also an adviser to Chatham House.

Speaking Topics include:

  • Global geopolitics and geopolitical risk
  • China and SE Asia
  • Russia and the West
  • Cyber security
  • Leadership and change
Read More

Videos of John Sawers

Robert John Sawers: Changing Politics and Geopolitics - What does it mean for Europe?
Robert John Sawers: Changing Politics and Geopolitics - What does it mean for Europe?
Cambridge University Panel | Leadership or Survival: What should the UK prioritise in foreign and national security policy after Covid-19?
Cambridge University Panel | Leadership or Survival: What should the UK prioritise in foreign and national security policy after Covid-19?
Lecture at Nottingham University | Sir John Sawers on technology and security
Lecture at Nottingham University | Sir John Sawers on technology and security
The Limits of Security
The Limits of Security
Keynote at the Edelman Trust Barometer
Keynote at the Edelman Trust Barometer

Blogs & Articles

Check John Sawers's speaking availability and fees

Interested in booking John Sawers to speak at an event? Please provide your details and we’ll get in touch within 24 hours.

    View our related Speakers

    Kurt Volker Speaker
    Exclusive
    Kurt Volker
    U.S Ambassador to NATO (2008-2009)
    Dr John C. Hulsman Speaker
    Exclusive
    Dr John C. Hulsman
    Top Geopolitical Analyst
    Karen Attiah Speaker
    Exclusive
    Karen Attiah
    Opinion Columnist, Global Opinions Editor - The Washington Post
    Jonathan Hill Speaker
    Exclusive
    Jonathan Hill
    Expert on the EU's financial services industry
    Mark Leonard Speaker
    Mark Leonard Speaker
    Exclusive
    Mark Leonard
    Expert on Geopolitics and Geoeconomics
    Leta Hong Fincher Speaker
    Exclusive
    Leta Hong Fincher
    Journalist on Gender Inequality in China
    David Pilling Speaker
    Exclusive
    David Pilling
    Associate Editor & Africa Editor - Financial Times
    Zhe Sun Speaker
    Exclusive
    Zhe Sun
    Expert on US-China Relations
    Rupert Smith Speaker
    Exclusive
    Rupert Smith
    Former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe for NATO
    Jeremy Hunt Speaker
    Exclusive
    Jeremy Hunt
    Longest serving UK Secretary of State for Health