Sir Nigel Essenhigh
Sir Nigel Essenhigh served for 40 years in the Royal Navy following a varied career of which a large part was spent at sea worldwide in surface ships ranging from patrol boat to aircraft carrier. He commanded the Type 42 destroyers HMS NOTTINGHAM and EXETER. He has seen active service on the Far East and Middle East and, in HMS EXETER as Captain of the 5th Destroyer Squadron, he was involved on active duty in Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM during the First Gulf War.
Ashore he completed several tours in the Ministry of Defence, most in the Plans and Programmes area. He served for 2 years as Chief Executive of the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office. Subsequently, as Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Programmes), he was closely involved in the 1997 Strategic Defence Review.
Latterly he served as Commander-in-Chief Fleet where he also held the dual NATO appointments as Commander-in-Chief Eastern Atlantic Area and Commander Allied Naval Forces North West Europe. From there he assumed the role of professional head of the Royal Navy when he took over as First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff in 2001.
After retiring from the Royal Navy, Sir Nigel took up a number of non-executive positions. He was Chairman of Defence Strategy and Solutions, an independent consultancy partnership. He served for 3 years as a non-executive director of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. For over 9 years he was a non- executive director of the Babcock International Group. Also for some 9 years he held a number of positions with the Northrop Grumman Corporation, initially as a consultant and for over 4 years as Chairman of Northrop Grumman Corporation UK Ltd and as well as 2 years as Chief Executive of Northrop Grumman Information Systems Europe.
Sir Nigel is a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Devon. He continues to be involved in maritime business in London and is a Younger Brother of Trinity House, a Freeman of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners, a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation and a Fellow of the Nautical Institute. He is also a Freeman of Trinity House, Newcastle.