|Director of the Government Communications Headquarters|
|Prime Minister||David Cameron
|Preceded by||Iain Lobban|
|Born||1965 (age 51–52)|
Robert Peter Hannigan CMG (born 1965) is a senior British civil servant who previously served as the Director of the signals intelligence and cryptography agency the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). He announced his resignation as Director on 23 January 2017.
Early and family life
Hannigan was born in Gloucestershire and brought up in Yorkshire, and studied classics at Wadham College, Oxford and continued his education at Heythrop College, University of London. He is married with a son and a daughter.
After an early career in the private sector, Hannigan became Deputy Director of Communications for the Northern Ireland Office in 2000, Director of Communications for the Northern Ireland Office in 2001 and Associate Political Director for the Northern Ireland Office in 2004. He served as the Director-General, Political at the Northern Ireland Office from 2005, taking over from Jonathan Phillips.
In 2007, he replaced Sir Richard Mottram as the Head of Security, Intelligence and Resilience at the Cabinet Office, responsible for co-ordinating between the intelligence services and government, and acting as Accounting Officer for the Single Intelligence Account which funds MI5, MI6 and GCHQ. During his time in post, Hannigan led the review into a major data breach incident, and the subsequent report which is informally called the "Hannigan Report".
Hannigan moved to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as the Director-General of Defence and Intelligence with effect from 1 March 2010. He was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to national security.
Director of GCHQ
It was announced in April 2014 that Hannigan would succeed Iain Lobban as the Director of the signals intelligence and cryptography agency the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in the autumn of the year, taking over in November 2014. As of 2015, Hannigan was paid a salary of between £160,000 and £164,999 by GCHQ, making him one of the 328 most highly paid people in the British public sector at that time.
On his first day in the role, Hannigan wrote an article in the Financial Times on the topic of Internet surveillance, stating that "however much [large US technology companies] may dislike it, they have become the command and control networks of choice for terrorists and criminals" and that GCHQ and its sister agencies "cannot tackle these challenges at scale without greater support from the private sector", arguing that most Internet users "would be comfortable with a better and more sustainable relationship between the [intelligence] agencies and the tech companies". Since the 2013 surveillance disclosures, large US technology companies have improved security and become less co-operative with foreign intelligence agencies, including those of the UK, generally requiring a US court order before disclosing data. However the head of the UK technology industry group TechUK rejected these claims, stating that they understood the issues but that disclosure obligations "must be based upon a clear and transparent legal framework and effective oversight rather than, as suggested, a deal between the industry and government".
On 23 January 2017, Hannigan announced that he had decided to resign once a successor to his role as director had been found, explaining in a letter to the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, that his resignation was for personal reasons.
Northern Ireland Office
Sir Richard Mottram
Intelligence, Security and Resilience
|Head of Security, Intelligence and Resilience
Deputy National Security Adviser,
Intelligence, Security and Resilience
|Director-General, Defence and Intelligence,
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sir Iain Lobban
|Director of GCHQ
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- MacAskill, Ewen (2017-01-23). "GCHQ chief Robert Hannigan quits". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-01-23.