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Jonathan Shaw speaker

Jonathan Shaw

speaker location icon London, UK

Expert on Cyber Security, Global Conflict and Leadership

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 development and response in cyberspace. He has 32 years of experience in getting things done on operations, with an intimate knowledge of government, and of the development of policy and strategy at the highest levels, both nationally and globally. 

Educated at Trinity College, Oxford, Jonathan was commissioned into the Parachute Regiment in 1981. He commanded the Multinational Division in Basra, Iraq in 2007 and was head of Counter Terrorism at the Ministry of Defence over 9/11 and Director of Special Forces. 

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. During this time, he became Head of International Security with specific responsibility for Pakistan/India, The Levant and Africa, including the Maghreb. 

Jonathan uses his experience of extensive security, geo-political, and strategic planning to achieve commercial success. His topics range from leadership, particularly to financial institutions, cyber security, organisational effectiveness to geo-politics. In 2013, he was invited by Sir Nick Hyntner to be the Military Advisor on Othello, and again in 2018, he reinvited to be the Military Adviser on ‘Julius Caesar’ at the Bridge Theatre. 

He is the author of Britain in a Perilous World: The Strategic Defence and Security Review We Need, which is listed as one of the London Evening Standard’s “Books of the Year” in 2014. Jonathan has also been printed and featured in many other prestigious publications such as The Guardian (2016), the Financial Times (2013, 2017, 2019), The Telegraph (2019), The Independent (2013, 2020), The Spectator (2019), the BBC and BBCRadio 4. J

Jonathan is a Fellow at Winchester College and from 2012-2019, he was Chairman of Airborne Forces Security Fund.

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. He has also spoken on SF Leadership lessons for business, particularly SMEs, and geopolitics. Jonathan’s operational experience in the middle east and his many years operating in Whitehall make him sought after by the media for his views on terrorism, conflict resolution in Afghanistan and Iraq and an unusually balanced view of the conflict with Iran."


Oxford Union | 2017 Patriotism Debate | Major Gen Jonathan Shaw | Proposition | 5 of 6



Cyber Security Requires Leadership (2013)


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Britain in a Perilous World: The Strategic Defence and Security Review We Need (Haus Curiosities)

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