Robert Hannigan CMG
formerly Director of GCHQ
Robert was Director of GCHQ, the UK’s largest intelligence and security agency, from 2014-17. He set up the National Cyber Security Centre in 2016 and comments regularly on cyber security for the FT, BBC and internationally. He is Executive Chairman for Europe of BlueVoyant, a global cyber security company, and a Senior Adviser to McKinsey & Co. While Director of GCHQ, Robert launched a number of key initiatives to promote diversity in the technical workforce. Under his leadership, the NCSC ran the UK’s first cyber security competition for girls in 2017, attracting 8000 participants, and began girls-only cyber summer schools. Robert caused international controversy on his first day in office at GCHQ in 2014 by criticising Silicon Valley companies in the Financial Times, but he has also spoken at MIT in defence of strong encryption and US technology leadership. He has a particular interest in the history of cryptography and Bletchley Park, where he is a Trustee. He is a member of the UK Government’s Defence Innovation Advisory Panel, a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology and the Royal United Services Institute.