University of Sheffield alumnus appointed into senior role at NATO

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach KCB, CBE, ADC, DLUniversity of Sheffield alumnus, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach (BA Geography, Economic & Social History 1977, Hon LittD 2007), has been elected as the next Chairman of the NATO Military Committee by the Allied Chiefs of Defence.

Sir Stuart, GBE, KCB, ADC, DL, who is currently serving as the Chief of Defence Staff of the United Kingdom’s Armed Forces, graduated from the University in 1977 with a Bachelor of the Arts in Geography, Economic and Social History – receiving the G P Jones prize in Economic and Social History.

Not long after his graduation, he was commissioned into the RAF - his first major role involving flying photographic and strategic reconnaissance missions. He later led British Forces in Kosovo in 1999 for which he was decorated.

Since 2000 Sir Stuart has worked in intelligence, providing mission support for RAF operations. In 2013 he was elected Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff and in 2016 went on to succeed General Sir Nick Houghton as Chief of the Defence Staff.

Throughout his career, Sir Stuart has always valued education, completing a Master of Philosophy degree at the University of Cambridge, acting as Director of Defence Studies for the RAF, and editing and publishing numerous articles.

For his contributions to UK defence and to NATO peacekeeping operations in the Balkans, he was the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Sheffield in 2007. He was also awarded a GBE (Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire) in 2015.

Sir Stuart will start his role as the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee in the summer of 2018.

President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, Professor Sir Keith Burnett, said:

"At a time of significant tensions and conflict around the world, the role of Chairman of the Military Committee for NATO carries with it the upmost responsibility.

“Having served as the Chief of Defence Staff for the United Kingdom's Armed Forces, Air Chief Marshall Sir Stuart Peach brings with him to this task enormous experience and a commitment to European security. I wish him the very best as he carries out this crucial responsibility.”

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach said:

“It is a huge honour to have been chosen to be the next Chairman of the Military Committee, one of the most important positions in NATO, central to European security.

“I am excited to take on this next challenge at such an important time for NATO, at a time when the alliance must modernise to face new and ever adapting threats.”

To read about more distinguished Sheffield alumni please visit our Outstanding Alumni web page.

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