Edward Ferguson took over as Minister Counsellor Defence in September 2018. Together with the Defence Attaché, he leads the British Defence Staff (United States) – a network of 1,000 people spread across 26 States.
Previously, he served as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2014 to 2018 where he created and led a new international strategy, co-launched by the British and German Foreign Ministers, to improve socio-economic conditions and to reduce state capture by ethno-nationalist elites.
A former Academic Exhibitioner and Choral Scholar of Trinity College, Oxford, where he was also Treasurer of the Oxford Union, Edward graduated with First Class Honours in Classics in 2001. Joining the Graduate Fast Stream of the Ministry of Defence, he started out in the Naval Staff before joining the Iraq Secretariat during the build-up to and subsequent execution of Operation TELIC. In 2003, he was involved in financial and requirement scrutiny of the Department’s future helicopter procurement programme.
From 2004 to 2006, he managed a national award-winning £300M programme to consolidate the MOD estate in Greater London and to redevelop RAF Northolt. In 2006, he volunteered for an operational tour, serving as Political Advisor to a British Battlegroup in Maysaan Province, Iraq (while his brother was a troop leader with the British Army in Basra). On his return, he took on responsibility for the strategic management of the UK’s bilateral defence relations with the United States, Canada and Western Europe.
From 2007 to 2009, he worked as Private Secretary to three Defence Secretaries, acting as their closest adviser on issues relating to operations in Iraq, the £6bn defence equipment programme, science & technology, counter-terrorism and counter-piracy.