Alex Younger appointed as next Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service

Posted On 12 Oct 2014
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With the agreement of Prime Minister David Cameron, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has announced that Alex Younger is appointed as successor to Sir John Sawers as Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service. Younger will take up the appointment in November.

Often referred to as MI6, the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) collects Britain’s foreign intelligence. The Service is based at Vauxhall Cross in London and provides Her Majesty’s Government with a global covert capability to promote and defend the national security and economic well-being of the United Kingdom.

Speaking about Younger’s appointment, Philip Hammond stated:” I’m pleased to announce that Alex Younger has been appointed as the next Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service. The work of MI6 is world class and its operation vital to the safety and security of the United Kingdom. Alex brings a wealth of relevant experience to the role, including his work in Afghanistan and helping to keep the country safe during the London 2012 Olympics.” The Foreign Secretary added:” I’d also like to thank Sir John Sawers for his strong leadership and personal commitment to a modernising agenda. I wish him well for the future.”

Commenting on his appointment, Alex Younger said:” I’m delighted and honoured to become Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service and lead one of the best intelligence agencies in the world. Our dedicated members of staff work tirelessly against an array of threats that this country faces. They do so in close partnership with both MI5 and GCHQ with whom I’m looking forward to co-operating very closely.” Younger also enthused:” I would like to pay tribute to John Sawers for his lifetime’s dedication to the country and particularly to his time as Chief of MI6. He brought us into a new era. I’m determined to build on this and bring my ideas for a modern Service to life.” In response, Sir John Sawers said:” I’m delighted that my colleague and friend is taking over from me. He has played a vital part alongside me in modernising the Secret Intelligence Service and ensuring that the Service is in the best possible shape to play its part in defending the country’s security and our values.”

Alex Younger: the Curriculum Vitae

Alex Younger is a career SIS officer and has been in the Service since 1991. For the last two years he has overseen the Service’s intelligence operations worldwide. Younger has held overseas postings in Europe and the Middle East and was the senior SIS officer in Afghanistan. He has filled a variety of operational roles in London, including leading the Service’s work on counter-terrorism in the three years running up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Before joining the Service, Younger” an economics graduate” served as an officer in the British Army.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.