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IMpower Incorporating FundForum
24 - 26 June 2024
The Grimaldi ForumMonte Carlo, Monaco

Eliza Manningham-Buller
Former Director-General at Global Intelligence Expert, former head of UK Security Service (MI5)


Eliza Manningham-Buller headed Britain’s Security Service (MI5) from 2002 to 2007, before serving as Chair of the Wellcome Trust from 2015 to 2021, one of the world’s largest charitable funders of medical research and other activity to improve human health.

From counter terrorism to pandemics, Eliza has led organisations through remarkable and pressurised times. Eliza reflects on twenty years as a leader of two very different organisations, but which share many traits and goals in managing the unpredictable and trying to keep millions safe. She outlines how leaders’ priorities must change in order to keep pace with shifting demands from all stakeholders and the constant emergence of new, often unimagined challenges. From existential threats such as climate change and pandemics to diversity and fairness, leaders have to seriously consider an ever-changing, complex landscape of priorities that influence both their organisation’s success and society’s future.

At MI5, Eliza led the Service through significant change, expansion, and scrutiny as it dealt with the growth of Al-Qaida terrorism after 9/11, and in response to the 7/7 attacks in London. Prior to serving as Director General her various roles took her to Washington during the first Gulf war, as well as seeing her responsible, at separate times, for work on Irish terrorism, surveillance, technical collection, finance, and IT, before she became Deputy Director General in charge of intelligence operations.

During her time as Chair of the Wellcome Trust, Eliza helped lead the UK’s biggest charity, overseeing funding for scientific research into all aspects of health and wellbeing, from infection to mental health, as well as responding to Covid-19. Having foreseen the threat of a pandemic on the scale of Covid-19, the Trust also helped to establish the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

Agenda Sessions

  • Leadership in times of extreme uncertainty Part 1

  • Leadership in times of extreme uncertainty

  • Telling Better Stories ....With increasing geopolitical challenges to global energy, food and health security, what are the most hopeful scientific innovations to tackle these long term challenges?