Women in Defence and Security Leadership

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Women in Defence and Security Leadership event page imageThe top brass, trailblazing women from the Armed Forces, Government and Industry Technology, Intelligence, the Law, Homeland Security, Space and Cyber convened at this landmark Women in Defence and Security Leadership Conference at RUSI on 30 November - 1 December 2011.

In addition to speakers representing the highest ranking women from each service of the US and British Armed Forces, a further eight other countries were represented by their top women as speakers. Many other countries’ senior representatives also attended. 

While the achievements of our speakers made it clear that significant strides have been made in terms of punching through the ‘brass ceiling,’ considerable work still lies ahead.

In an increasingly complex security environment with unprecedented threat proliferation, the interdependence of security, technology and science has become a stark reality. Diverse perspectives and the inclusion of all the talents are imperative for a robust defence and security posture to confront modern threats ranging from cyber-terrorism to war, crime or biological attacks.

The conference showcased the formidable force that the talent, skill and leadership of these women represent in what proved to be an exciting and innovative conference.

Participants included:

  • Rt Hon Baroness Neville-Jones, UK Government Special Representative to Business on Cyber Security and former Security Minister
  • Mrs Elena Sánchez Blanco, Secretary General of the Spanish Intelligence Agency
  • Ursula Brennan, Permanent Under Secretary, Ministry of Defence
  • Vice Admiral Carol Pottenger, Deputy Chief of Staff for Capability and Development at NATO Headquarters Supreme Allied Commander Transformation
  • Barbara Ann Westgate, Assistant DCS, Strategic Plans and Programs, USAF HQ
  • Air Vice-Marshal Margaret Staib, Commander Joint Logistics, Australian Department of Defence
  • Commodore Elizabeth Steele, Deputy Chief of Staff, Associate Deputy Minister (Materiel), Department of National Defense, Canada
  • Dr Frances Saunders, Chief Executive, Dstl
  • Jacqueline Arends, former special assistant to the President of the United States and Secretary of Defense, leads the Aviation, Aerospace and Defense Practice at Spencer Stuart
  • Mira Ricardel, former US Assistant Secretary of Defense and Vice President Business Development, Missile Defense Systems, The Boeing Company
  • Jennifer Osbaldestin, T45 Head of Programme, BAE Systems
  • Vice Admiral Patricia Tracey (US Navy ret), Vice President of Industry Development, Department of Defense for the Hewlett-Packard Company
  • Brigadier General Gila Kalifi-Amir, Women's Affairs Advisor to the Chief of Staff, Israeli Defence Force
  • Air Commodore Barbara Cooper, Commandant, Air Cadets, Royal Air Force
  • Colonel Lena Hallin, Defence Attaché, Swedish Embassy London
  • Jane Attwood, Fraud Prevention Director, Lloyds Bank
  • Madeleine Moon MP, House of Commons Select Committee on Defence
  • Dr Brooke Hoskins, Director of Strategy and Government Relations at Raytheon
  • Janine Nyre, Vice President of Radio Frequency Combat and Information Systems (RFCIS) for Northrop Grumman Land and Self Protection Systems Division
  • Sue Williams QPM, Accredited Hostage Negotiator and Crisis Management Expert
  • Alex Crawford, Foreign Correspondent, Sky News
  • Commander Liz Walmsley, Royal Navy
  • Commander Solveig Krey, Royal Norwegian Navy

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