I joined SIS in the late 90s as a result of a traditional shoulder tap. I’d spent part of my childhood overseas, travelled a lot, spoke a useful language, had a social science degree and brief experience in journalism. I joined because I wanted to make a difference: make the news, not just report it. I became hooked working with extraordinary colleagues across the UKIC, applying diverse, entrepreneurial creativity and skill to solve wicked problems – with success. Since having kids, I really do want to make the world a better place. We have our work cut out.
Over the last two decades, I’ve been blessed with fascinating jobs, including multiple overseas postings. I’ve learnt another language, and loads of new digital skills. I’ve had a varied career, including running operations and developing our technical capabilities. I’m currently based overseas, leading teams across a spread of countries, working with inspirational partners globally.
I have three kids, born overseas. My very supportive husband will confirm I’m still learning how to juggle life and work. I’ve always worked full-time, except for maternity leave. I found it easier than friends elsewhere to return to work, in part because I know I am improving my kids’ future security, in every sense. And practically, the Service has enabled real flexibility - for everyone - and is always open to policy improvement.
The best thing about working for SIS? When I ask myself at the end of a day (or year or decade) ‘what did I really do today?’, I’m always surprised by how much the answer sounds like fiction: I saved a hostage, debriefed a secret agent, stopped a bomb, helped make the UK more secure. The only difference is that it’s all true.