Julian Fisher

Julian Fisher

Former MI6 Officer


Responsible for recruiting people in political, military and intelligence positions and persuading them to spy on their country or cause at great personal risk, Julian’s main insight is into what makes people tick. Applying his experience to the commercial world, he considers what influences people, as well as areas including risk, security, and privacy. After dinner, he introduces a lighter look at the world of espionage including the importance of knowing how to be boring and what to do if an old friend recognises you whilst you’re undercover.


Julian Fisher served as an operational officer in the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS; commonly known as MI6). He also starred in Channel 4's Spies as one of the lead trainers/assessors.

After a spell working in the City, Julian applied to work at the Foreign Office where he was recruited to MI6. Primarily working in Africa, his role was to operate in a country under the cover of being there for business, and to recruit those in political, intelligence or military positions.

After leaving the service Julian retained his interest in Africa working for the private security and intelligence company Aegis Defence Services as their Head of Africa. He founded Africa Integrity Services, a specialist provider of business intelligence on the region. He also started Your Mission Experiences, an innovative immersive theatre concept in which clients play the roles of intelligence officers, charged with conducting operations on the streets of London.

Unusually for a former MI6 officer, Julian achieved a public profile as one of the three instructors on the Channel 4 show Spies. The series subjected fifteen members of the public to tests based on training for new entrants to the British Intelligence Services. Julian worked with the producers as a consultant on the series and was instrumental to the final shape of the programme. He has also worked on a number of other TV, film and literary projects as a consultant and has regularly appeared in the media as a commentator on privacy, security and spying.

Having specialised in the ‘people’ side of intelligence, Julian speaks about what’s required to persuade (never coerce) someone to potentially risk their lives or their freedom to help a foreign government. Drawing parallels with people management in the workplace he looks at how leaders need to understand what matters to their employees and how to influence. He also considers privacy, risk, and the broader business lessons from the intelligence world.

More specifically Julian can also provide an insight into international security issues, geopolitical risk and the realities behind the headlines about terrorism, Russia and beyond. He also provides an examination of Africa and the continent’s political, social and commercial make up.

As one of the few former MI6 officers known publicly, Julian also provides a lighter look at the shadowy yet often surprising world of espionage and agents. He reveals stories such as what to do when working undercover and an old friend sits next to you on the plane, the importance of being boring in espionage, and the differences between what the public think about spying and the reality.

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