Thomas Hurd: Inside COBRA - the UK government's crisis engine

December 15th, 2022

In episode 14 of White Swan: The Crisis Podcast, we are joined by Thomas Hurd – former Director General at the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism in the UK. Thomas was also responsible for overseeing the domestic operations of the intelligence agencies, CT Police and the National Crime Agency and played a leading role internationally on domestic security issues.

Back in May 2020, at the outset of Covid-19 in the UK, Thomas was tasked with setting up the UK's Joint Biosecurity Centre to detect Covid 19 outbreaks earlier and more accurately, alongside advising the UK government and local authorities on how best to respond. He speaks about building the centre up from scratch to incorporate both health expertise and data, and the importance for leaders to adopt a data-driven mindset.

With a strong expertise in crisis management and recovery, Hurd shares his experience managing crisis on a national level, including the UK response to the 2017 Manchester Arena terrorist attack. Talking to Thomas, we see a glimpse into how COBRA meetings work and his role in keeping crises under control.

This action-packed episode is a must-listen for all leaders, especially those who want to be prepared and proactive when it comes to managing crises – with a myriad of valuable advice shared by the expert himself.