Sir John Sawers

Senior Adviser


Sir John Sawers is executive chairman of Newbridge Advisory, a firm he founded in 2019 to advise corporate leaders on geopolitics and political risk.  He is also a non-executive director of BP.

Sir John has 36 years’ experience in diplomacy and intelligence, culminating in five years as chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) from 2009 to 2014.

In that role, he took part in the UK National Security Council and the Joint Intelligence Committee, contributing both to assessments of the threats to the UK’s security and to the strategies and policy decisions on how to promote and protect British interests around the world.

As MI6 chief, he led the service through a period of international political upheaval and high terrorist threat, including against the 2012 London Olympics. He also modernized the way the service works and created a more open approach to public accountability.

Prior to leading MI6 he was the UK’s ambassador to the United Nations (2007-2009), political director of the Foreign Office (2003-2007), special representative in Iraq (2003), ambassador to Cairo (2001-2003) and foreign policy adviser to Prime Minister Tony Blair (1999-2001).

In his earlier career he worked overseas in Yemen, Syria, South Africa and Washington, and at home was involved in policy on the EU, Russia and the Middle East.

Sir John became chairman and partner at Macro Advisory Partners after he left public service until he set up Newbridge Advisory, his own company. 

Sir John studied at the universities of Nottingham, St Andrews and Harvard. He is a visiting professor at King’s College London, a senior fellow of the Royal United Services Institute, and a governor of the Ditchley Foundation.