Sir Jeremy Fleming Director GCHQ

Our mission is simple: we help to keep the country safe, in the real world and online. We focus on communications: how to access, analyse and – occasionally – disrupt the communications of the UK’s adversaries; and on the nation’s cybersecurity. We work with the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), MI5, policing, Defence and a myriad of partners overseas, and in the private sector and academia. The people at GCHQ come from diverse backgrounds and bring their unique skills, but all share a passion to make a difference for their country. This is as true today as it was when GCHQ was founded over a century ago – it’s been at the heart of Britain’s intelligence and security community ever since.

What’s changed today is that technology is now central to our way of life. It influences everything from how we relate to one another, to how states compete in cyberspace. As technology continues to evolve, we’re pioneering a new kind of security for our increasingly complex and interconnected world. GCHQ’s role is more vital than ever. History shows that GCHQ has helped shorten wars, thwart terrorist attacks and apprehend serious criminals. To do that we produce intelligence to support policymakers in their decisions and enable partners, such as the military or law enforcement, to take action. Through the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a part of GCHQ, we are making the UK the safest place to live and work online. This work to protect the UK’s citizens, businesses and institutions is crucial to the country’s security, prosperity, and influence as a global cyber power.

We always strive to stay one step ahead of those who would do our nation and its people harm. Our focus is dynamic and changes as the global threats faced by the UK evolve. In the wake of the pandemic, we are part of the national response to Covid-19. We are protecting the NHS, supporting the Government’s development of data science and improving our nation’s economic resilience. We are tackling a shifting serious crime threat that is looking to exploit the crisis. And our role in keeping the UK digital homeland safe and prosperous is more crucial than ever. Whilst some things must remain secret, we are as open as possible. We work with educators, businesses and government to unlock the creative and problem-solving potential of our country’s extraordinary mix of minds. We operate under one of the strictest legal and oversight regimes in the world, enabling us to uphold Britain’s values of freedom alongside the nation’s security. We are proud to be part of the reason why Britain is a leader in the digital world.

Looking back on the events of 2020, I’m reminded that prediction is a dangerous game. But I think it’s safe to say that the world will continue to change and new threats will emerge. And that is why I am confident that GCHQ will continue to be at the heart of the nation’s security.


Biography

Sir Jeremy Fleming is the Director of GCHQ, the UK’s Intelligence, Cyber and Security Agency. He was appointed in 2017 and is the 16th person to hold the role. After an early career in the financial sector, Jeremy joined MI5 in 1993. He gained extensive operational, investigative and leadership experience across the full range of national security work. He helped shape MI5’s response to the London terrorist attacks in 2005, led the revision and publication of the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST, and was promoted to Assistant Director General to lead MI5’s preparations for the London 2012 Olympics. He then spent four years as Deputy Director General with responsibility for all investigations and operations.

In GCHQ, Jeremy has overseen the creation of the National Cyber Security Centre with a mission to make the UK the safest place to live and do business online. It has become a world leader in bringing together Government, industry and international partners to address cyber threats and inform the public. Jeremy has led a significant period of growth in the Agency, with the development of a strategic base in Manchester and a focus on diversity and inclusion. In 2019 he led GCHQ’s centenary celebrations with the publication of a landmark official history. And in 2020, a new partnership with the MoD was announced to create a National Cyber Force charged with delivering cyber operations.

Jeremy was made a Companion of the Order of Bath in 2016 and Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in 2021 for services to national security. He is also Honorary Colonel of JSSO(V). He holds a degree in Economic and Social History from the University of Bristol and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and of the Institute of Engineering and Technology.

 

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