Alex Howlett holds a PhD from the Defence Studies Department at King’s College London, where he studied British naval aviation during the First World War. A graduate of the Department of War Studies at King’s, and the History Department at Simon Fraser University, he is actively engaged researching the history of strategy and maritime operations, naval procurement, and contemporary defence policy.
Emma Rowlands joined the Executive Team as Secretary-Treasurer in 2019 but is not a newcomer to the work of the Naval Review, having been actively involved for the previous decade. Although she has never served, she has been part of the wider naval family for over 20 years and brings to the role a wealth of experience from various fields. In her spare time she raises one daughter and five chickens.
Book Review Editor
James has extensive experience encompassing academic and policy-relevant research and analysis for a range of customers, including UK Government bodies. He has written widely on issues including the development of British Maritime Strategy, maritime airpower Russian maritime doctrine naval and wider military(including nuclear) modernisation and China’s evolving strategy.
Kevin Rowlands joined the NR Committee in 2019 after 10 years service as the Book Reviews Editor. He has served in various ships and shore-based staffs. He holds master’s degrees in defence studies and education and a PhD in war studies from King’s College London. He is the editor of 21st Century Gorshkov: The Challenge of Sea Power in the Modern Era (Naval Institute Press, 2017) and has published numerous articles and reviews. He tweets as @c21st_sailor.
Simon Reay Atkinson is a Professor at Sydney University, a Captain in the Royal Australian Navy Reserves and Consulting Negotiator at the Strategic Assessment Research Network. His publications include The Agile Organisation (2005) and in the Oxford Handbook of War (2012). Living in Sydney, he is a long-standing supporter of The Naval Review.
George Franklin thoroughly enjoyed his 13 years in the Royal Navy but left, with a heavy heart, as a Lt Cdr PWO(C) in 2004. Since then he has been working in, then managing, projects in energy, mining, infrastructure and chemical engineering in Africa, the Middle East and now China. He firmly believes that The Naval Review has a vital role as a catalyst in the professional development of Naval Officers.
Simon Williams is a warfare officer who has commanded HMS BRECON, HMS SHEFFIELD and HMS CORNWALL and also BRNC Dartmouth. He has been Her Majesty The Queen’s Defence Services Secretary and the Naval Secretary and Flag Officer Reserves.
Chairman of Trustees
Sir Clive Johnstone is the Corporate Director of Strategy for BMT Group Ltd, an independent maritime design, engineering and consulting business. He also advises business, security organisations and charities through his role as a Distinguished Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, GLOBSEC Future Defence and Security Council Advisory Committee, Kinross and Chatham House,
As a Vice Admiral, his last role was as the Commander of NATO’s Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) based in Northwood, North London. It was a role that offered an extraordinary opportunity to build networks and seek to understand the totality of the Euro-Atlantic area through the regional knowledge and wisdom of other specialists and experts.
A defining theme in his military leadership has been the projection of a considered maritime voice into the National and NATO defence and security debate, linking across boundaries with partners of all forms, alongside friends and allies.
He also retains a keen interest in mentoring and talent management; he supports elite sport, University leadership programmes and business faculties and he speaks on leadership, performance and managing vulnerability across the world.
A career long reader of the Naval Review, Clive is excited to build on the clear-eyed leadership of Sir Mark and take the Naval Review properly into the digital age. He is looking forward to enabling the amazing conversations across the whole of the Navy and all of the maritime diaspora, using the most modern technology and ideas.
What an exciting time to become Chairman!
1st December 2021.
David Burns is currently serving as Assistant Chief of Staff at the Permanent Joint Headquarters, Northwood. He joined the Royal Navy as a University Cadet in 1986, reading physics at Imperial College. He subsequently qualified as a Principal Warfare Office (Communications and Electronic Warfare) and went on to command HMS Norfolk and HMS Somerset. His staff assignments have ranged from technical policy for the security of information systems to planning the UK operational communications for Op TELIC; they include two operational tours in Baghdad. He completed the International Relations MPhil at Cambridge in 2012 focussing on the Middle East and US Foreign Policy.
James Sproule is a political and economic policy expert. In 2019 he was a Senior Business Adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and has worked with the think tanks UnHerd and the Legatum Institute; between 2014-2017 he was the Chief Economist and Director of Policy at the Institute of Directors. Before the IoD he was head of UK Research with Accenture. He started his financial career as a merchant bank economist working with Bankers Trust, Deutsche Bank and Dresdner Kleinwort, and eventually helped to found the boutique bank Augusta and Company. James started his working life as a signals officer in the Royal Navy, where he remains an honorary Captain. James Sproule sits on the European advisory board for the strategic consultancy L.E.K.; he stood for Parliament at the 2005 general election; and was for seven years a visiting fellow in the Department of Management Economics at the London School of Economics.
Ian Park is a logistics officer and barrister in the Royal Navy and has served in seven ships. He has deployed as a legal adviser on operations to Afghanistan and to the Middle East. Ian was a Hudson Fellow at Oxford University, is a Visiting Fellow at Harvard Law School, a First Sea Lord’s Fellow and a Freeman of the City of London. He is a graduate of St. John’s College, Cambridge and has a doctorate in law from Balliol College, Oxford. He has lectured at Harvard Law School, Oxford University, Cambridge University, The Academy of Military Sciences, Beijing, Hanoi University, USSH Hanoi, Shanghai Jiao Tung University and Freiburg University. Ian is the author of, ‘The Right to Life in Armed Conflict’ (Oxford University Press, 2018) and the 2018 winner of the outstanding performance by an HM Forces barrister at the UK Bar Awards.
Tim Laurence has been a member of, and a regular contributor to, The Naval Review for over 30 years. His Naval career included four warship Commands and a series of MOD Appointments. His current activities and commitments are numerous and wide ranging.
Simon Ancona retired after 37 years in the navy, having held appointments in the Fleet Air Arm and MoD as well as enjoying the privilege of several Commands at sea. After working as the Chief Operating Officer for Network Rail’s Anglia area for several years he is now working in the Whitehall and Industry Group, which focuses on improving co-operation and understanding between these sectors.
Appointed as the Fleet Commander in September 2021, Andrew Burns commands all operational arms of the Royal Navy (Surface Flotilla, Submarine Flotilla, Fleet Air Arm, Royal Marines and Royal Fleet Auxiliary). This includes their generation for task and operational effectiveness. He is the Chief Naval Warfare Officer and the Gender Advocate for the Royal Navy. He is a warfare officer who has had the privilege of commanding a mine-hunter, frigate, amphibious assault ship and most recently the Amphibious Task Group. He has broad experience as a staff officer in the MOD, and Joint headquarters both in the UK and deployed on operations. He has a wide range of interests and became a trustee in 2017.
Francesca Allen joined the Royal Navy in 2010, following a degree in Oceanography at the University of Southampton, where she was also part of the URNU (University Royal Naval Unit), enjoying many short deployments around the UK in HMS BLAZER.
Having conducted initial training and then warfare training at BRNC DARTMOUTH, Allen then completed basic OOW training in HMS KENT, taking the ship from refit in Rosyth through sea trials and to FOST training. A keen earth science student, a natural progression to the Hydrographic and Meteorology (HM) specialisation then followed with appointments to HMS ENTERPRISE and HMS ECHO. During this time, in addition to conducting numerous hydrographic surveys across the Mediterranean and Gulf, regions, she was part of the 2014 operation to search for the missing aircraft MH370 in the Southern Ocean, which represented a hugely rewarding time at sea. Further specialising in tactical meteorology and oceanography, Allen then spent an extremely interesting and busy time as part of the Fleet HM Unit (FHMU), deploying tactically and at short notice as part of a small team to provide HM support to TAPs units across the North Atlantic in 2016 – 2017. During this time, she was also seconded to FOST (S), gaining valuable knowledge of the RN’s training organisation and was the HM in charge on board RFA ARGUS.
Following maternity leave after having her first child in 2018, postings as a forecaster and then Deputy Senior Meteorologist (DSMETO) at RNAS CULDROSE solidified Allen’s wish to sub – specialise as a tactical meteorologist and oceanographer, working with both fixed wing and rotary squadrons in the provision of timely and accurate tactical environmental data. After a short period of maternity leave for her second child in 2020, Allen then returned to work in the position of Warfare Training Officer (WTO) at RNAS CULDROSE, acting as the environmental educator for all aviation training pipelines across the base and the tactical advisor to all levels of command. Allen successfully attended Advanced HM Course in early 2021, alongside providing HM support to EXERCISE JOINT WARRIOR and TRIAL PALLAS FURY at the British Underwater Test and Evaluation Centre (BUTEC), acting as the sole HM providing support on both occasions. She then assumed the position of SMETO (Senior Meteorological and Oceanographic Officer) at CULDROSE in 2022, heading up a team of 15.
Allen is a long-standing member of the Naval Servicewomen’s Network (NSN) and has represented both RNAS CULDROSE and the HM branch for the NSN committee since 2019. She was presented with the NSN Award for Gender Balance in 2020, and the NSN Award for Inclusive Teamwork in 2021. She is also a representative for the RN Parent’s Network and an active STEM Ambassador for the South West and a 1SL’s Fellow of the 22 – 24 cohort. A keen singer (Military Wives Choir) and slow but steady runner, she also enjoys Pilates and yoga. Allen is the creator of the fashion blog “The Female Equivalent” on Instagram. She currently lives in Cornwall with her young family.
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