I was born in 1961 in London, and took my O and A Levels in Witney in Oxfordshire in the UK.
I took a First in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) from Oriel College Oxford in 1982, a Masters in Computer Science from University College London in 1983 and a D.Phil. in African Politics from St. Antony's College Oxford in 1986. After which I decided I didn't want to do any more exams for quite a while.
My first full-time job was as a Research Assistant at the University of Surrey, Guildford, where I worked in a small team building expert systems for the UK water industry, mostly in Prolog.
In 1988, I moved to Lloyd's Register of Shipping in Croydon, to head up their intelligent systems team. We developed several small (semi-) intelligent systems, mostly relating to diesel engines or shipping (the KBSSHIP project notably), and worked on software verification and validation. I was involved in several ESPRIT collaborative R&D projects which gave opportunities for travel in Europe.
A paper I co-authored won a gold medal at the Institute of Marine Engineers in 1989.
I moved to Shell in 1991, where I was to spent the next 26 years. From 1991-5, I was based in London as a business consultant in IT, working on internal IT projects including Shell's first CD ROM and the first standard CAD designs for retail sites.
I helped build the first Shell template for the new integrated JD Edwards-based ERP system, and spent three months in Denver in 1994 beta-testing the new logistics modules at JDE's headquarters, not far from the Rockies.
In 1995, I left the UK for a new life as the business improvement manager for Shell Ghana, which later expanded to be the business improvement and IT manager for a cluster of countries (Ghana, Togo, Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina, Benin, Niger).
In January 1999, I moved to Kenya to become the IT Manager for the East Africa Hub, covering Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Sudan, Mauritius. Over the next three years, Shell also set up or acquired businesses in Tanzania, Eritrea, Madagascar and Rwanda.
My father Peter died in 2000. Gifty (from Ghana) and I married in 2001 in Nairobi.
From October 2001 until 2003, I did a short stint as IT and Innovation Architect back in Shell Centre. Meanwhile Gifty and our daughter Edith were in Kenya.
In June 2011 I became the Ethics and Compliance Officer (BCO) for the Downstream (DS) business of Shell, initially in London, a role I held for six years.
This job, part of the legal organisation, involved helping, advising and supporting the global DS business to understand and comply with the Shell Code of Conduct and accompanying manuals (bribery and corruption, fraud, money laundering, antitrust, trade controls, privacy), and to manage the consequences when people or organisations failed to do so.
From January 2003 to 2005 I became Chief Technology Officer for the Shell Trading business. Areas of responsibility included architecture, security, Sarbanes Oxley, procurement and project management.
During this time Gifty and Edith came to the UK, Gifty gave birth to our second child, Peter in 2004 and I ran my only marathon (so far).
In July 2005, we moved to Den Haag in NL, where I became the Deputy Director for Information Security. My initial focus was on creating enforceable controls and ensuring everyone met a minimum baseline. Then in 2007 I became security lead on a large outsourcing project, "privatizing" Shell's global IT infrastructure in three bundles.
My role covered more than 60 countries and 45,000 staff, and required extensive outreach as well as working with top leaders in DS. In the process I dealt with the consequences of at least 500 substantiated code of conduct investigations.
During this period, for family reasons we moved from the UK to Ireland and I commuted via Shannon. My mother passed away in January 2015.
In Q1 2017, my role was moved to the Asia-Pacific region during a reorganization after the acquisition of BG Group.
Having completed the outsourcing and designed the retained security organisation, in August 2008 I became responsible to deliver the new structure and manage information security, business contingency and regulatory compliance for Shell's outsourced global infrastructure, a high profile task. We moved to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, where we lived until 2011.
During this time I had the opportunity to lead a large programme of remediation for security issues in the Group's infrastructure and to lead the response to two large security incidents.
After a short period of project work, I moved onto gardening leave and retired from Shell in 2017.
In February 2018, I took a 3-month contract working on US corporate governance with Glass Lewis based in Limerick.
In June 2018, I joined UNHCR as Cybersecurity Transformation Programme manager and held that role for two years, delivering a $3 m p.a. programme of security improvements from Ireland but with extensive travel to Amman (Jordan), Geneva and elsewhere .
In September 2021, I was appointed as UNHCRs first formal CISO and have held that role almost entirely virtually since then, in the world of Covid.