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Robert Hannigan

speaker location icon London, U.K.

Former Director of GCHQ

European Executive Chairman of BlueVoyant

Cyber Security Specialist

Robert Hannigan CMG is a cyber security specialist and former Director of GCHQ (2014-2017), the UK’s largest intelligence and cyber security agency. He is now Executive Chairman for Europe BlueVoyant, a global cyber security services company and Senior Advisor at McKinsey & Co. 

Robert played an instrumental part in setting the Government’s long-term ambition of making the UK the safest place to live and do online-business. In 2016, he established the UK National Cyber Security Centre, having been responsible for the UK’s first cyber strategy in 2009. He has spent much of his government career in national security, where he was the Prime Minister’s Security Advisor at No. 10 Downing Street from 2007-2010. Alongside this, he was appointed as Head of Security, Intelligence and Resilience at the Cabinet Office. He focused on Islamist terrorism, and was responsible in the Cabinet Office for the Single Intelligence Account. 

From 2011-2012, Robert chaired ‘COBR’ and was a longstanding member of the Joint Intelligence Committee. As Director General for Defence and Intelligence in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, he was lead advisor on counter-proliferation. He also advised Foreign Secretary William Hague on intelligence policy and operations. Robert was also Tony Blair’s senior official on the Northern Ireland peace process, responsible for negotiations with political parties with the Irish and US Governments. 

A leading authority on cyber security, conflict and the application of technology in national security, Robert is a frequent writer on cyber issues in the Financial Times. His work has been credited greatly and has spoken at numerous places to diverse audiences, such as MIT. 

He is a Senior Fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center, an Honorary Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford and a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, and a non-US national to be awarded the US Intelligence Distinguished Public Service Medal. 


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