David Omand

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Omand at King's College London in January 2016.

Sir David Bruce Omand GCB (born 15 April 1947[1]) is a former senior British civil servant who served as the Director of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) from 1996 to 1997. He serves as a Commissioner for the Global Commission on Internet Governance.[2]


He was born on 15 April 1947. His father, Bruce, was a Justice of the Peace.[3] Omand was educated at Glasgow Academy and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge,[1] receiving an economics degree.


He began his career with the Government Communications Headquarters, more commonly known as GCHQ.[4] After working for the Ministry of Defence for a number of years, Oman was appointed Director of GCHQ from 1996 to 1997. His next post was Permanent Secretary at the Home Office.

Omand was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the 2000 New Year Honours.[5] In 2002 he became the first Permanent Secretary and Security and Intelligence Co-ordinator in the Cabinet Office. Omand was among those who decided that David Kelly should be pursued for talking to the media about the Government's dossier on Iraq's alleged WMD.[6] Omand and Sir Kevin Tebbit, then permanent secretary at the Ministry of Defence, recommended to Jack Straw and Tony Blair that John Scarlett head MI6.[6]

Omand was promoted to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB) in the 2004 Birthday Honours.[7] He retired from the Cabinet Office in April 2005.

In 2007, he obtained Maths and Physics degrees from Open University.[3]

On 20 January 2010, Omand gave evidence to the Iraq Inquiry.[8]

In 2009 he was asked by the Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, to carry out a review into the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to "satisfy ministers" that the council is "discharging the functions" that it is supposed to.[9]

In 2013 he defended the closeness of Britain's intelligence relationship with the US, telling BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We have the brains. They have the money. It's a collaboration that's worked very well."[10]

Links with academia[edit]

Omand is currently a visiting professor at King's College London and is a vice-president of the Royal United Services Institute.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Omand was married in 1971, and has two children. He is a member of the Reform Club. He served a four-year term on the board of the Natural History Museum, London, starting in 2006. He remains a trustee.[3]


  1. ^ a b "OMAND, Sir David Bruce (15 April 1947 - )", in Debrett's People of Today, 2004
  2. ^ https://www.ourinternet.org/#commission
  3. ^ a b c "OMAND, Sir David Bruce". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  4. ^ Aldrich, David, GCHQ, Harper Press, 2010, ISBN 978-0-00-727847-3, p.495
  5. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 55710. p. 3. 31 December 1999. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
  6. ^ a b Waugh, Paul (2 November 2005). "Key Kelly pair helped appoint MI6 chief". Retrieved 2008-11-05. 
  7. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 57315. p. 2. 12 June 2004. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
  8. ^ "Iraq inquiry: 45-minute claim 'asking for trouble'". BBC News (BBC). 20 January 2010. Retrieved 29 January 2010. 
  9. ^ Alan Johnson orders swift review of drugs advice body
  10. ^ UK intelligence work defends freedom, say spy chiefs, BBC News 7 November 2013 Last updated at 17:13
  11. ^ "Editorial Team". Royal United Services Institute. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Sir John Anthony Adye
Director of GCHQ
July 1996 – December 1997
Succeeded by
Sir Kevin Tebbit
Preceded by
Sir Richard Wilson
Permanent Secretary of the Home Office
Succeeded by
Sir John Gieve