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John Sawers speaker

John Sawers

speaker location icon London, UK

Chief, British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) (2009-14)

British Permanent Representative to the United Nations (2007-09)

Expert on geopolitics and the state of the world

Sir John Sawers is the former chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service.

During his tenure, he modernised the Service and led it through major changes in operations, technology, and public accountability. Sir John Sawers 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 Sawers is a diplomat with close ties to Downing Street and the foreign policy establishment.

After retiring as Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service in 2014, Sir John Sawers became a Visiting Professor in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London.

Our Comment

"Sir John Sawers’ presentation is a powerful look at the unpredictable global landscape and how it is affecting the world today. He offers rare and unique insights on the forces and key players shaping today’s geopolitics, the limits of security, and gives practical advice for how organisations can make it work for them. Sawers is also a leading authority on cybersecurity, and talks about the dangers, risks, and potential rewards of our digital security environment."

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