Infrastructure – What Can We Do To Make Us Disaster-Proof?

The second introductory webclave to the forthcoming Cityforum programme of round tables ‘Reimagining Security and Resilience’ is scheduled for mid-June 2023. Chaired by Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli of Z/Yen with whom Cityforum is working on this series, the excellent panel of discussants comprises George Barnes, Deputy Director NSA, with considerable cyber expertise, Elisabeth Braw, the distinguished expert on societies and resilience, and the British contributor Christine Elliott, with her authoritative position on professional services, crises and resilience.

The whole thrust of this Cityforum project, which extends until Christmas, is how to deliver improved security and resilient recovery in a period of global stress, fragmentation and polycrisis.


George C. Barnes serves as the Deputy Director and senior civilian leader of the National Security Agency (NSA). In this capacity, he acts as the NSA's chief operating officer, responsible for guiding and directing operations, studies, and policy. Having joined NSA in 1987, Mr Barnes has held a number of critical technical and operational leadership roles throughout his career, to include: Deputy Chief of the SIGINT Development Strategy and Governance organisation and Chief of Data Acquisition, NSA's SIGINT access, collection, and exploitation organisation. Prior to his appointment as NSA's Deputy Director, Mr Barnes held the position of NSA Director of the Workforce Support Activities Directorate where he was responsible for ensuring the effective operation and integration of enterprise-wide human capital management, education & training, security & counterintelligence, and installations & logistics. Mr Barnes is a certified Cryptologic Engineer with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. His professional recognition has included the prestigious National Intelligence Medal of Achievement, a Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the NSA Ann Caracristi Award for Operations and Production Excellence, an Intelligence Community Leadership Collaboration Award, and Distinguished & Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Awards.

Elisabeth Braw is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where she focuses on defence against grey zone threats. She is also a columnist with Foreign Policy, where she writes on national security and the globalised economy, and the author of The Defender’s Dilemma: Identifying and Deterring Grayzone Aggression (2021). Before joining AEI, Elisabeth was a senior research fellow at RUSI, whose Modern Deterrence project she led. Elisabeth is also a member of the steering committee of the Aurora Forum and a member of the UK National Preparedness Commission. She is also the author of God’s Spies, about the Stasi (2019).

Christine Elliott has been the Chair of the Health and Care Professions Council since March 2019. Its first lay Chair, she has considerable experience in leading, and leading change, in complex public and private sector organisations. As part of her pro bono work, Christine chairs the Advisory Board of Positive Planet UK, which focuses on supporting diverse entrepreneurs to deliver technology to repair and mitigate climate change. She is currently a Director of the Independent Office for Police Conduct and an independent member of the Editors' Code of Practice Committee. Christine is Chair of WellbeingatWork.World (Sonas Group), a global, integrated multi-channel platform to make the wellbeing of employees a strategic priority through Summits, Hub & Bespoke. She is an Associate of Cityforum, acknowledged leaders in policy analysis and public debate since 1990; and a Council member of the Rural Policy Group, a visionary action-oriented think tank and advocate for rural policy. She was previously the Chair of Borough Market and the Interim Chair of the College of Policing as well as the Chair of their Regulatory Consultative Group, having previously served as Senior Independent Director; and was a board member for six years. Christine has a strong interest in innovation and served as an advisory board member of, a digital transformation headquartered in Toronto, Canada. She chaired the Advisory Board of Albeego Ltd, a British mobile telecoms firm providing digital devices with stable, secure internet connectivity. Christine’s Chief Executive roles included Bletchley Park, regenerating the now internationally renowned, award-winning site; and Institute for Turnaround, a leading source of transformation knowledge.

Monday, 12 June 2023

16:00 - 17:00 BST


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  • George C Barnes
    George C. Barnes
    Former President
    World Bank
  • Elisabeth Braw
    Elisabeth Braw
    Senior Fellow
    American Enterprise Institute
  • Christine Elliott
    Christine Elliott
    Chair Advisory Board
    Positive Planet
  • michael Mainelli.png
    Professor Michael Mainelli
    Z/Yen Group