Simon Hardern

Simon Hardern

Advisory Board

Simon joined the Royal Navy in September 1984 directly from school. His first years were spent at sea in Her Majesty’s Ships CATTISTOCK, NOTTINGHAM, LINDISFARNE and ALACRITY. Whilst on the latter, the Ship, when on deployment to the West Indies, provided humanitarian support to Hurricane-Hugo devastated island of Montserrat.

Having completed a ten-month tour as the Executive Officer of the Northern Ireland patrol vessel HMS CUXTON, he joined the staff of Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland as the Flag Lieutenant in May 1991. Returning to sea for a short tour as the Navigating Officer of the Type 23 frigate HMS LANCASTER, he qualified as a Warfare Officer in December 1995. He assumed Command of the Sandown class mine-hunter HMS WALNEY. Promoted to Lieutenant Commander in November 1996, his final year with the Ship was spent deployed with NATO’s Standing Naval Force Channel.

Following a short period as the Operations Officer of the Type 22 frigate HMS BEAVER, he attended the Joint Services Command and Staff College in September 1998. Graduating from the Advanced Command and Staff Course with an MA in Defence Studies, he joined the Headquarters of the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic based in Norfolk, Virginia as the Military Assistant to the US 4* Commander. He received the US Department of Defense Meritorious Service Medal for his services before, and after, the tragic events of 9/11.

He returned to the UK in October 2001 and led, for a short period, the Royal Naval Presentation Team. Assuming command of the frigate HMS KENT in April 2002, his time included a nine-month deployment to the north Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf as part of the UK’s effort with the Global War on Terrorism. Joining the Ministry of Defence in early 2004, he first had responsibilities for the planning and programming of all major logistics-related equipment procurement programmes and then, in 2007, as the Military Assistant to Chief of the Defence Staff for Personnel.

Promoted to Captain in September 2008, he became Secretary to the three Single-Service Chiefs of Staff and Ministerial Team. His final 8 years were spent working at NATO as: the Chief Staff Officer to Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe; Secretary to the Military Committee and Chief of Staff for the International Military Staff; and, finally, as a Rear Admiral, Deputy Chief of Staff Plans, Exercises and Partnerships.

In June 2018, Simon joined a large Crisis and Disaster Management company as CEO. With dedicated full-time resources spread across the world, he ensured the provision of personnel and equipment as well as the incident response, particularly those involving major loss of life. This included directly supporting two aviation disasters in the USA and the southern Pacific Ocean.

Simon joined the UK Hydrographic Office in April 2020 as the Head of Partnering and Engagement; based in Washington DC, he has a roving brief covering all the Americas.

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