Vice President, Latin America and Canada, Group Business Development, BAE Systems plc
Defence budgets in many markets are flattening or declining as governments implement deficit-reduction measures. At the same time, the need for capabilities to address more non-traditional threats to a nation’s security – such as international terrorism and cyber-attacks – is coming to the fore.
Working for a global company engaged in the development and delivery of advanced defence, security and aerospace systems, the questions I wanted to address as a Policy Fellow sat at the intersection of geopolitics, business and technology. CSaP’s cross-disciplinary approach enabled me to gain new understandings in all three, through a perfectly designed programme that allowed me to engage with world-class researchers.
Regarding geopolitics, senior researchers in Politics gave valuable insights into aspects of international relations that critically affect global security. Discussions in the Institute for Manufacturing and Judge Business School furthered my understanding of industry and education in the Middle East, and of innovation in India. I was able to apply insights from many other discussions directly into my day-job.
Regarding technology, several Engineering Professors discussed their work on organisational performance, international manufacturing, technology route mapping and innovation acceleration, and I was pleased to be able to broaden the pre-existing links between my company and the IfM. At the Computer Laboratory I enjoyed a deeply challenging debate on cybersecurity in particular. Finally, Sir Richard Dearlove at Pembroke shared with me his wide-ranging perspectives on global issues, drawing on his time as Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service.
As well as the engagements which were all useful in themselves, I found time away from the day-job to discuss, think and reflect in an intellectually demanding environment immensely valuable. Over the next two years I look forward to making new contacts as my responsibilities and interests change, building relationships with other Fellows, and taking the opportunity to lecture at the University.