As EMEA Executive Director, I lead the UK, Middle East and India part of the organization, which includes our London office. I came to GCA because I want to make a difference. I’ve been part of the Internet and networking industry for 25 years so in some way I feel the need to clean up the mess we have all created. I hit a time in life where making money for other people and me isn’t enough. I’ve always sought and achieved to leave a good legacy and needed to take this to another gear [by joining GCA]. I was involved in the early 2000’s defending against the first scale phishing attacks in the UK and didn’t like the way I could see cyber threats developing. Having been in the telco and isp world I find I can relate to individuals in these industries and find empathy with them. I’ve also been a development director and IT director, so I feel people’s pain and hopefully have some tips that help them. There is also a great network of friends out there to rely on and bring with us.
What I like best about working at GCA is that there is no typical day here. One day I find myself talking to royalty, generals, presidents, ministers, then training a young intern, onto a video shoot, off to one of our partner countries (pre-pandemic), then working at home, talking to very small businesses with cyber challenges and CEOs of massive corporations. It’s hard to be bored here.
What is your favorite quote?
I have two:
“I love it when a plan comes together.”- The A team
“Let’s be careful out there.”- Hill Street Blues
Who inspires you?
My dad (he doesn’t know this). Very few people know his past, but he spent 23 years in the army, much of it as a commando. But he lives a normal life now and has a healthy attitude to doing what’s right, and knowing the difference between “right” and “conventional.”
What is the best meal you ever had?
Full English breakfast on a yacht traveling round the western most part of the British islands, having spent the night battling a 70-mile-an-hour storm. It’s never about the taste, it’s about the experience. The same banana tastes different to a poor hungry person than to a rich fat guy.
Where is your favorite place in the world?
Home, but I have fallen in love with Switzerland, and Australia feels like a second home as we have a large family out there. I’ve only been to 49 countries so far, so I can’t comment on the “world.”
What is the last book you read?
The Naked Diplomat, by Tom Fletcher. It’s a book written by a UK ambassador about technology in the global diplomacy stakes.
What’s the greatest bit of advice a parent or mentor has given you?
Make sure you can tell your mother what you did today and not blush while telling the story.
What is on your bucket list?
Skiing in Japan; sailing across the Atlantic, which I’m doing in 2021.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
Sailing, skiing, traveling, having fun with friends and loved ones. One day I’ll combine all of these.