Cyber guru appointed UK’s first director of homeland security

Written by Beckie Smith on 12 April 2021 in News
News

Former NCSC bigwig Chloe Squires joins Home Office

Credit: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Archive/PA Images

Chloe Squires, who co-authored the UK’s first cybersecurity strategy, has been appointed director of homeland security, overseeing counter-terrorism work.

Squires is the first to hold the title and replaces Tom Hurd, who led the department’s Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism before stepping down last month. She has spent the last two years as the Home Office’s director for national security, joining the department in 2019 from the National Cyber Security Centre.

She helped to set up the NCSC in 2016, later becoming its director of strategy. Previously she held director roles in the Foreign Office, working in cybersecurity and strategy.

In her new role, which she took up on 1 April, Squires is senior responsible owner for counter-terrorism.


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Earlier this year, the Home Office said it was seeking a "flexible", "resilient" and "authoritative" candidate to succeed Hurd as the head of the OSCT.

The £140,000-a-year role would include setting strategy and leading the delivery of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST, and acting as a senior adviser to the home secretary and other ministers on security and counter-terrorism issues, the job advert said.

Announcing Squires's appointment, home secretary Priti Patel said her “wealth of experience working in national security will be invaluable” in helping to keep people safe.

Permanent secretary Matthew Rycroft said Squires is a “fantastic addition to the top team and is absolutely the right person to lead on this critical part of the Home Office’s work”. 

He added: “A huge thank you to Tom Hurd for being an excellent director general for the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism since 2016. We wish him all the best for his new chapter.”

Squires said: “I’m thrilled to have been offered the role at this exciting time for the mission. I look forward to working with my brilliant colleagues across the Home Office and its partners to help deliver the government’s vital agenda in this area.”

About the author

Beckie Smith is acting deputy editor of PublicTechnology sister publication Civil Service World, where a version of this story first appeared. She tweets as @Beckie__Smith.

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