Sue Williams QPM

Leadership Track
Strategic Advisor – Special Risks & Crisis Management, The Healix Risk and Security Advisory Board and Former Head of UK Hostage Crisis Negotiation Unit and Royal Protection Senior Management Team
As a Scotland Yard detective Sue was the most senior ranking Detective officer in charge of both the Kidnap and the Hostage Crisis Negotiation Units. She held those posts for seven years. At the highest-level Sue has been an active contributor to the UK Government's crisis response process in cases of the kidnap/abduction of UK citizens overseas. She has advised senior Government Ministers as part of the Cabinet Office Briefings (COBR). Her role was to devise and present on negotiation strategies, combined tactics and the suitable proportionate response that offered British hostages the best chance of release and enhanced the reputation of HMG.

Many of these cases were high profile and evolved in the media spotlight. Others were resolved covertly, all demanded careful innovative negotiation strategies, the use of intermediaries and good communication to all stakeholders including the perpetrators.

During her time as unit Chief as part of her responsibility Sue managed the UK National hostage negotiation training course, this commitment occurred every three months and trained 100 UK and overseas senior police and military officers a year.

Prior to that posting Sue also formed part of the Royalty Protection senior management team working from Buckingham Palace. Her role included security preparation for annual major royal events, crisis management for spontaneous incidents and detailed plan writing for the UK government response to serious crimes against members of the British Royal family & Household.

Sue qualified as an accredited Hostage Negotiator both in the UK with New Scotland Yard and in the USA with the FBI 30 years ago, since that time she has contributed to the successful resolution of hundreds of kidnaps, hostage situations on land and the high seas. More recently she has undertaken cyber negotiations as a tactic for combating extortion. Sue has deployed in every continent and has worked with enforcement authorities from around the world.

She is an accredited Senior Investigator (SIO) for kidnaps and was awarded the Queen's Police Medal; in the Queen’s Birthday Honors list, this was in recognition of her commitment to the fields of kidnap, negotiation and saving of life.
Due to her extensive expertise and unrivalled experience in all matters allied to negotiation, kidnap and extortion Sue is currently called upon to assist and advise many foreign governments, high profile families, organizations, and companies experiencing similar crimes in action or critical incidents involving hostage taking. Sue is an established specialist subject matter expert within the global security community and her advice is being highly sought after.

She is a visiting lecturer at the University of Harvard USA, where she works with the international humanitarian sector. Sue is also an Associate Fellow with Said Business School, Oxford University, where she shares hostage negotiation tools and tactics with the participants on the Oxford Programme on Negotiation (OPN). This unique approach to business negotiations has been well received and has created a lot of media interest. During these sessions at Oxford Sue uses her extensive hostage negotiation experience to teach influence without authority and how to formulate negotiation strategies suitable for successful business transactions.

Session: Leadership During a Crisis: Navigating the Web of Decision-Making