Vice Admiral Sir Jeremy Blackham KCB BA joined the Royal Navy at 18, and had a wide range of sea appointments, including command of HM ships Beachampton, Ashanti, Nottingham and Ark Royal (when he also commanded the first RN Task Group in the Adriatic during the Bosnian Crisis, setting up, and operating, enduring maritime operational arrangements with the relevant NATO and international authorities).
Ashore, having completed the course at the Royal College of Defence Studies, he filled a number of important staff appointments including commandant of the Royal Navy Staff College, director of naval plans, director general naval personnel strategy and assistant-chief of the Navy staff (when he was a member of the Navy Board), gaining particular experience in the field of budgeting and planning, and of introducing new processes and structures in pursuit of savings.
In 1999, he was deputy CINC Fleet and then the first deputy chief of defence staff (equipment capability) before leaving the RN in 2002. In both these last two posts he had close dealings with allies, and especially with the United States and NATO allies in the fields of policy and operations. In the latter post, he was one of the key players in implementing the Smart Acquisition Initiative and set up the new and highly innovative MoD Central Customer Organisation, a major change initiative, working with all three services and other outside agencies.
On retirement from the Royal Navy, he spent three years with EADS, as UK country president responsible for setting up EADS UK, before establishing himself as an independent consultant in the defence and other fields.
He is chairman of Sarnmere Ltd, Atmaana plc and of the Blackheath Conservatoire of Music and the Arts, where he has driven a complex development programme. He is a member of the Advisory Board of CityForum, and an advisor or non executive director to several other small companies.
He is a Vice President and Associate Fellow of RUSI, the editor of The Naval Review and a frequent writer on defence and related affairs (including acquisition), in such publications as the RUSI Journal, RUSI Defence Systems, Jane's Navy International, Defence News and the Naval Review and has published some eighty articles in UK and abroad. He speaks and chairs regularly at defence and security conferences in the UK, and abroad, most recently in India, the USA and Sweden.
He is a Spanish interpreter, a graduate of the Open University (with First Class Honours in History and Philosophy) and is currently reading for a Master's degree in Classical Studies. His key interests are travel, reading, poetry, writing, music, languages and walking, and played cricket for the Royal Navy.
He is a member of the Institute of Directors, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, the MCC, a companion of the Royal Aeronautical Society and a freeman of the City of London.