General Sir Nick Carter is an accomplished strategic leader and advisor. He has over 45 years’ military experience culminating at the top of his profession as the Chief of the Defence Staff where he was the principal military advisor to the Prime Minister, the National Security Council, and the Secretary of State for Defence, and the Head of the UK Armed Forces. He also served as the Chief of the General Staff, professional Head of the British Army. He is an expert on defence and geopolitical affairs, transformational and strategic leadership, and inclusivity.
General Carter has commanded on operations at every level of command and in a variety of different contexts, including the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland, UN peacekeeping in Cyprus, NATO peace enforcement in both Bosnia and Kosovo, and commanding the UK-led Brigade in Iraq in 2003-04. He has multiple years of experience in Afghanistan since 9/11 until the present day, designing approaches to counter insurgency and acting as the key facilitator to build confidence between the Afghan and Pakistani governments.
An accomplished military diplomat, he was the first CDS in over a decade to develop a relationship with his Chinese opposite number, the Chief of CMC Joint Staff Department Li Zoucheng. He has developed several coalitions and military communities of interest including in the Middle East with the GCC, Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt, in the Caribbean, and the Joint Expeditionary Force with the Nordics and Baltic States to counter Russian belligerence.
His hallmarks are the defence element of the most recent Integrated Review, leading to the largest uplift in defence spending since the end of the Cold War; the fundamental restructuring of the British Army (known as Army 2020) following the national Defence Reviews of 2010 and 2015; and the design of the Armed Forces’ support to the national COVID-19 response.
General Carter initiated and drove significant cultural change, instituting a strategic culture, a programme of empowerment and maximising talent. A strong advocate for equality of opportunity, enabling everyone to maximise their talent, he was recognised by Business in the Community, who named him Gender Champion in 2017, after making and winning the case for legislation to be changed to open all roles in the military to all people, based on ability and potential rather than outdated notions of gender.
He becomes a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in California from September 2022.