First Sea Lord’s Sea Power Conference 2023

The Council on Geostrategy, in partnership with King’s College, London, was delighted to host the 2023 iteration of the First Sea Lord’s Sea Power Conference. The conference, a key element of London Seapower Week, was held at Lancaster House on 16th-17th May 2023. Watch the keynote speeches, panels and in conversation session from the conference below.

The conference programme, with a full agenda, list of speakers and other content, can be found here.

Sir Henry Leach Memorial Lecture | Ministerial Keynote speech – The Rt Hon James Cartlidge MP, Minister for Defence Procurement, Ministry of Defence

You can read the speech here.

Ministerial Keynote speech – The Rt Hon Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, Minister of State for Indo-Pacific, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

You can read the speech here.

Panel 1 – The art of admiralty: Mobilising national power in a competitive age

This panel was moderated by Vice Admiral (rtd.) Sir Clive Johnstone, Chair, Naval Review.

  • Monica Kohli, Senior Lawyer, Gard AS (UK) Limited;
  • Prof. Andrew Lambert, Laughton Professor of Naval History, King’s College London;
  • Vice Admiral René Tas, Chief of Staff, Royal Netherlands Navy;
  • Jason Wrigley, Director of Business Development, Lockheed Martin.

In conversation – How connected are the Euro-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific theatres?

This panel was moderated by Viktorija Starych-Samuolienė, Co-founder and Director of Strategy, Council on Geostrategy.

  • Admiral Michael M. Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations, United States Navy;
  • Admiral Sir Ben Key KCB CBE ADC, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, Royal Navy;
  • Admiral Pierre Vandier, Chief of Naval Staff, French Navy.

Panel 2 – Competing at sea: Naval power and active deterrence

This panel was moderated by Prof. Alessio Patalano, Professor of War and Strategy in East Asia, King’s College London.

  • Rear Admiral Edward Ahlgren OBE, Commander Operations, Royal Navy;
  • Rear Admiral Ewa Skoog Haslum, Chief of Navy, Swedish Navy;
  • Dr Nicolas Mazzucchi, Research Director, French Navy Centre for Strategic Studies;
  • Dr Philip Shetler-Jones, Associate Fellow, Council on Geostrategy.

Panel 3 – Aligning power: Leading by design

This panel was moderated by Emma Salisbury, Associate Fellow, Council on Geostrategy.

  • Ian Bowers, Associate Professor, Institute for Military Operations, Royal Danish Defence College;
  • Vice Admiral Martin Connell CBE, The Second Sea Lord, Royal Navy;
  • Stephen Lillie CMG, Director, Defence and International Security;
  • Major General Jim Morris CB DSO, Standing Joint Force Commander.

Keynote speech – First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Ben Key KCB CBE ADC

You can read the speech here.

Panel 4 – Maintaining a competitive edge: Operationalising technology in a maritime warfare

This panel was moderated by Shashank Joshi, Defence Editor, The Economist.

  • Rear Admiral Rune Andersen, Chief of the Royal Norwegian Navy,
  • Dr Richard Drake, Chief Technology Officer, Babcock;
  • Julie Marionneau, Head of International Relations, ADS;
  • Rear Admiral James Parking CBE, Director of DEvelopment, Royal Navy;
  • Julian Pawlak, Research Associate, German Institute for Defence and Strategic Studies.

Panel 5 – Steel and statecraft in a maritime century

This panel was moderated by James Rogers, Co-founder and Director of Research, Council on Geostrategy.

  • Abi Clayton, Director, Future Programmes, Rolls-Royce Submarines;
  • Alina Frolova, Deputy Chairperson, Centre for Defence Strategies;
  • Prof. Jamie Gaskarth, Professor of Foreign Policy and International Relations, Open University;
  • Mike Knott, Maritime Capabilities Advisor, BAE Systems.