Professor Sir David Omand GCB: Cyber Security

24th January 2018

Professor Sir David Omand GCB: Cyber Security

We were incredibly honoured to have Professor Sir David Omand GCB as our January guest speaker.

He is a visiting professor in the War Studies Department of King’s College London and a former director of GCHQ, permanent secretary of the Home Office and UK security and intelligence co-ordinator. He is also the author of Securing the State.

He began his career with the Government Communications Headquarters, more commonly known as GCHQ. After working for the Ministry of Defence for a number of years, Sir David was appointed Director of GCHQ from 1996 to 1997. His next post was Permanent Secretary at the Home Office.

Sir David was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the 2000 New Year Honours. In 2002 he became the first Permanent Secretary and Security and Intelligence Co-ordinator in the Cabinet Office. He was among those who decided that David Kelly should be pursued for talking to the media about the Government’s dossier on Iraq’s alleged WMD. Sir David and Sir Kevin Tebbit, then permanent secretary at the Ministry of Defence, recommended to Jack Straw and Tony Blair that John Scarlett head MI6

Professor Omand was promoted to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB) in the 2004 Birthday Honours. He retired from the Cabinet Office in April 2005.

In 2007, he obtained Maths and Physics degrees from Open University
On 20 January 2010, Omand gave evidence to the Iraq Inquiry.

In 2009 he was asked by the Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, to carry out a review into the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to “satisfy ministers” that the council is “discharging the functions” that it is supposed to.

In 2013 he defended the closeness of Britain’s intelligence relationship with the US, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We have the brains. They have the money. It’s a collaboration that’s worked very well.”

Since leaving the government, Sir David Omand has landed jobs with several military-related companies. He has been a non-executive director at UK arms company Babcock International and Italian arms company Leonardo-Finmeccanica and has also worked as an adviser to the Society of British Aerospace Companies.

Sir David so kindly shared with us his incredible knowledge and experiences. Not only on Cyber Security but also the actions being taken globally by individuals, and organisations, both privately and state owned, in committing and countering Cyber Attacks. Sir David’s fascinating speech and attendance was so warmly received by everyone and we all stated, we would love to hear from him again. For an update on the rapidly changing map of Global Cyber Security and I know I speak for everyone in thanking him so much for his time and for an unmissable and unforgettable speech and his attendance at the lunch.