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In announcing the appointment Sir Paul Lever, who has served as Chairman for the last five years, said:
"I am delighted that Richard Dannatt has agreed to take on this role. Under the leadership of the Director, Professor Michael Clarke, RUSI has established an outstanding reputation for intellectual excellence, as was evidenced by the award in 2008 by Prospect Magazine of ‘Think Tank of the Year’. Since its foundation in 1831 RUSI's mission has been to explore the defence and security challenges facing our country and to reflect the views and concerns of the members of our armed forces. There is no-one better qualified than Richard Dannatt to continue this mission."
General Sir Richard Dannatt was commissioned into The Green Howards in 1971. He has served seven tours of duty with the 1st Battalion in Northern Ireland and also with the UN in Cyprus and for many years in Germany before he commanded the Battalion in the Airmobile role from 1989 to 1991.
Amongst appointments on the Staff, as Colonel Higher Command and Staff Course/Doctrine at the Army Staff College, Camberley in 1992-93, he wrote the Army Doctrine Publication "Operations" - a revised operational doctrine appropriate to the post Cold War era. From 1994 to1996 he commanded 4th Armoured Brigade again in Germany and also in Bosnia during the early days of the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement.
After heading the Defence Programme Staff during the new Labour Government’s Strategic Defence Review in 1997/98, he took command of 3rd (United Kingdom) Division in January 1999, and also served in Kosovo that year as Commander British Forces.
In 2000 he returned to Bosnia as the Deputy Commander Operations of the NATO Stabilisation Force (SFOR). From 2001 to 2002 he was the Assistant Chief of the General Staff in the Ministry of Defence before taking command of NATO's Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC). In March 2005 he took over as Commander-in-Chief Land Command, and assumed the appointment of Chief of the General Staff in August 2006.
General Sir Richard Dannatt was born on 23rd December 1950 and was educated at Felsted School and St Lawrence College. He and his wife, Philippa, have their permanent home in Norfolk and are both graduates of Durham University. Married in 1977, they have three sons and a daughter.
One of their sons has recently served with The Grenadier Guards in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition to his current appointment, General Dannatt is Colonel Commandant of the Army Air Corps, having previously been Colonel, The Green Howards, and Colonel Commandant of the Royal Military Police. Currently, he is also President of the Army Rifle Association, the Army Rugby Union, the Army Winter Sports Association, the Soldiers' and Airmens' Scripture Readers Association, and a Vice President of the Armed Forces' Christian Union.
He was awarded the Military Cross in 1973, was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1996, awarded the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in 1999 and was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 2005. General Dannatt is also a Trustee of the Windsor Leadership Trust and of the new Service charity Help for Heroes.
He is a Patron of the war-zone charity, Hope and Homes for Children. Recently he was elected to become a Fellow of Hatfield College, Durham and the President of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association for 2008. The Senate of the University of Durham has recently decided to confer on him the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Civil Law.