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George  Robertson

George Robertson

Former Secretary General of NATO

George Robertson

Former Secretary General of NATO


Lord Robertson is Deputy Chairman of Cable and Wireless. He was Secretary General of NATO from and before that, served as Defense Secretary of the United Kingdom. A consummate Britain politician, he was also as a Member of Parliament for Hamilton and the Hamilton South Constituencies

Lord Robertson began his career as a Scottish organizer with the trade union responsible for the Scottish Whisky industry. He was then elected to parliament where he served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Social Services Secretary and from 1979-1993 he held senior opposition roles including 11 years on Foreign Affairs and in particular Europe. In 1993 he was elected to the Shadow Cabinet and served as Principal opposition spokesman on Scottish Affairs.

In 1997, Lord Robertston was appointed Defense Secretary by Prime Minister Blair and was responsible for carrying through the Strategic Defense Review and for leading the military campaign in Iraq in 1998 and Kosovo in 1999.  In 1999 he was appointed 10th Secretary General of NATO and elevated to the House of Lords. His time at NATO coincided with the September 11 attacks and his chairing the NATO Summit in Prague in 2002, which invited seven new countries into the Alliance.

Lord Robertson was appointed to Her Majesty’s Privy Council in 1997, as a Knight of the Thistle, and awarded the GCMG (Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George) in 2004. He received the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2003 from President George W Bush. He has been awarded the highest national honors from Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland, Ukraine, Slovakia and Estonia. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2003 and has honorary doctorates from Dundee, St Andrews, Bradford, Cranfield and Glasgow Caledonian Universities as well as from Baku State University, Azerbaijan and The French University, Armenia.

He is a Non Executive Director of the Weir Group and the Smiths Group, a Strategic Advisor to the Royal Bank of Canada Europe, BP and on the Advisory Board of Englefield Capital and is Senior Counsel to the Cohen Group. He is joint President of the Royal Institute of Institutional Affairs, an Elder Brother of Trinity House, and Chairman of the John Smith Memorial Trust.

Speech Topics

True Social Justice in a Disorderly World

A Transformed NATO: Delivering Security in a Dangerous World