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Simon King
Chief Risk Officer
Ministry of Defence

During my time as Chief Risk Officer for the Ministry of Defence I had overall responsibility for ensuring that effective risk management and assurance arrangements were implemented throughout the department. The Ministry Defence is responsible for protecting our citizens and our interests both at home and in the overseas territories, so it follows that the work was not only deeply rewarding but also extremely interesting. My days were varied and could range from a face-to-face briefing with a Minister, running a workshop for senior military officers, analysing the risk implications of buying a new piece of military equipment or discussing sensitive strategic risks. There were also days when I would visit the different military establishments to better understand the purpose and capability of different platforms.

Photo of Simon King -  Ministry of Defence

Over time I have seen many improvements in the management of risk across government including, significantly, the establishment of a Government Risk Profession and risk centre of excellence for Government where I recently completed a secondment. I have been involved in, and led, changes to processes, which are increasing awareness and better informing choices for senior decision makers.  Recent global events including the Covid pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, not to forget climate change, have reinforced that the extraordinary things we know could happen but don’t expect to, do happen. We need effective policies and robust risk management practices to better anticipate, prepare for and respond to these types of events. The work risk professionals deliver in government supports decision makers at all levels to better understand their risk exposure, building resilience and helping to ensure value for money for the taxpayer in the process. I would strongly encourage anyone who would like to make a real difference in assisting our great nation to better prepare for the challenges of the future, to seriously consider a career in risk management in government.