Air Vice-Marshal Sean Corbett CB MBE

Senior Associate Fellow


Sean Corbett retired from the Royal Air Force in September 2018, after a 30-year career as a professional intelligence officer, where he reached the pinnacle of his profession. On transitioning from the military, he established a Defence, Security, and Intelligence Directorate within a ‘new space’ geospatial intelligence company, where he advanced innovative AI applications to earth observation data in support of the defence and security sector, and instigated the concept of ‘intelligence as a service’, leveraging a wide spectrum of publicly available information to answer challenging questions for the sector. He established his own security and intelligence consultancy in 2019, focusing on the open-source intelligence, the downstream applications of the commercial space sector, geospatial intelligence, and business optimisation.

Sean brings with him a wealth of operational experience from his time in the military, having served tours of duty in Northern Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, the Balkans, Libya, and Central America. He has commanded at every rank level, including a tour as Commander of the Joint Service Signals Organisation, as the Head of Intelligence at the UK’s Permanent Joint Headquarters and as the Chief of UK Intelligence in Afghanistan. Throughout this time, Sean has been an active participant in a variety of RUSI led fora to address a wide range of security related challenges.

He has a strong NATO background, having held the influential roles of Principal Staff Officer to the Deputy Supreme Commander, Europe, and as the deputy UK Military Representative to NATO. Continuing the theme of working closely with allies and partners, his last appointment in the military was two years in Washington DC as the first non-US Deputy Director of a major US Intelligence Agency. His primary role here was to optimise intelligence sharing with US allies by developing and implementing a transformational change programme throughout the US intelligence community.

Sean is widely published and has featured as a defence expert on a number of media outlets including the BBC. He also sits on advisory boards for several large open-source intelligence companies. 

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