Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones
Prime Minister's Special Representative to Business on Cyber Security
Pauline Neville-Jones is the Prime Minister’s special representative to UK business on cyber security, a role David Cameron asked her to take on when she stepped down from the post of Minster of State in the Home Office for Security and Counterterrorism in May 2011. In that role she was also a member of the National Security Council.
Pauline has been a Conservative Peer since October 2007. At the time of entering the House of Lords she was National Security Adviser to the leader of the Opposition and author of the Conservative party’s national security policy which became the basis for subsequent Coalition national security strategy.
Pauline has experience in both the public and private sectors. She was a career member of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1963 to 1996 where she served, among other places, in Washington DC and Bonn. She also had appointments as Chef de Cabinet to the Budget Commissioner in the European Commission; as head of the FCO Policy Planning Staff; as Head of the defence and Overseas Secretariat in the Cabinet Office; as Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee and as Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet. In her last post as Political Director in the FCO she led the British Delegation to the Bosnia Peace talks in Dayton Ohio.
On leaving the Diplomatic Service in 1996, Pauline spent ten years in the private sector. She was a Managing Director in NatWest Markets for business development until the sale of the bank in 1998 when she joined the corporate advisory house Hawkpoint Partners to help develop its continental European business. In 2001 she became a member of the Board and subsequently Chairman, until flotation in 2006, of the defence and security technology group, QinetiQ. She was the founding chairman of the Information Assurance Advisory Council, which focuses on cyber related issues, from 2002 to 2005.
Pauline was the International Governor of the BBC from 1998 to 2004 and chairman of the BBC Audit Committee. She is a graduate of Oxford University and did post graduate work in the United States. She is a Dame Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George; a Freeman of the City of London, a Doctor of the Open, City and London Universities and a Chevalier of the Legion d’Honneur.
Pauline Neville-Jones’ career has had three broad phases: in the FCO from 1963 to 1996; in the private sector (1996 to 2006) and again in government at the political level, from 2005 to the present. In all of these, her strengths have lain in giving and acting on strategic advice; negotiating outcomes to complex problems, ensuring delivery and giving leadership in pioneering contexts.
Thus, as Chef de Cabinet (chief adviser) to the then Budget and Financial Affairs Commissioner in Brussels, Christopher Tugendhat, she had to lead in finding a way to reduce, against deep opposition and technical complexity, the excessive UK budget contribution to the European Community budget. In Bonn, she led for the UK in aspects of the “2 plus 4” Unification negotiations, including getting agreement - against expectations - on an internal German air services agreement to the benefit of British Airways. Leading for the UK in the Bosnia peace negotiations involved cutting through the divergences and deep distrust between the main protagonists to get agreement and then organising, on a tight deadline, a large conference in London to begin implementation.
As Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, Pauline ensured the delivery to Cabinet Ministers of timely and soundly assessed intelligence and, as head of the Defence and Overseas secretariat in the Cabinet Office, advised the then Prime Minister, John Major, more generally on defence and foreign affairs.
It was practical experience of conflict resolution combined with in depth understanding of a wide span of defence and foreign policy issues and a strong strategic sense which fitted Pauline to undertake the work on national security at David Cameron’s invitation in 2005. Out of this emerged the reformulation of the Coalition’s approach to security issues, the decision to set up a National Security Council as a central decision making body and the identification of cyber security as a top tier risk to UK public and private sectors. As Security Minister, in addition to her responsibilities for ensuring successful counterterrorism policy, she pioneered the early development of cyber security policy and, since leaving office, has continued to push forward implementation, speaking extensively in public.
Pauline’s senior executive role in NatWest Markets at Board level and her chairmanship of Qinetiq, taking the company successfully to flotation with Carlyle as equity investor, which involved mediating difficult issues with the MoD owner, have given her practical experience and understanding of the pressures of the Boardroom which public sector inhabitants often find hard to grasp or to sympathise with. Chairing audit in the BBC required upgrading numerous internal processes to get greater transparency over the movement of cash and information on costs and compliance.
In her spare time, Pauline has taken a strong interest in education, sitting on the Councils of City and Oxford Universities and on the Advisory Board of her Oxford College. She is Patron of Cyber Security Challenge which, with corporate sponsorship, organises competitions for schools and students, designed to plug the appalling gap in the UK skills base in ICT subjects.