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Sir John Sawers

Sir John Sawers - Independent non-executive director

Independent non-executive director


Appointed 14 May 2015


Board and committee activities:

Chair of the geopolitical committee; member of the safety, environment and security assurance, nomination and governance and chairman’s committees


Outside interests:

Visiting professor at King’s College London

Governor of the Ditchley Foundation
Trustee of the Bilderberg Association, UK








Sir John Sawers spent 36 years in public service in the UK, working on foreign policy, international security and intelligence.


Sir John was chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, from 2009 to 2014 – a period of international upheaval and growing security threats, as well as closer public scrutiny of the intelligence agencies. Prior to that, the bulk of his career was in diplomacy, representing the British government around the world and leading negotiations at the UN, in the European Union and in the G8. He was the UK ambassador to the United Nations from 2007 to 2009, political director and main board member of the Foreign Office from 2003 to 2007, special representative in Iraq during 2003, ambassador to Egypt from 2001 to 2003 and foreign policy adviser to the Prime Minister from 1999 to 2001. Earlier in his career, he was posted to Washington, South Africa, Syria and Yemen.


Relevant skills and experience

Sir John's deep experience of international political and commercial matters is an asset to the board in navigating the geopolitical issues faced by a modern global company. Sir John brings a unique perspective and broad experience which makes him ideal to lead the geopolitical committee. His knowledge and skills gained in government, diplomacy and policy analysis and advice are invaluable to both the board and the safety, ethics and environment assurance committee.