Professor John Louth is an author, researcher and business leader working in the spaces where government, politics, the military, commerce, the third sector and general public intersect. His passion is to explore, understand and explain the complexities of defence capability generation and management drawn from a multi-faceted public-private enterprise, embracing defence prime contractors, technologists, SMEs, the armed forces, families, investors and governments.
Between 2011 and 2019, John was the director of the defence, industries and society research programme at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI). During this time, he published extensively on defence industrial strategy and procurement practices, both in the UK and internationally. He advised the Colombian government on defence industrial reform as part of the peace process and chaired the UK-Australian Defence Maritime Collaboration Dialogue in London and Sydney. John was also the independent chair of the MoD-Industry Nuclear Engineering Skills Review.
Since 2012, John has been a specialist adviser to the UK House of Commons’ Defence Select Committee. Before Brexit, he was the UK representative on the pan-European research body for the EU on defence capability and readiness. John is a non-executive director and advisory board member of a number of businesses operating in the defence, security and advisory sectors. He works with the NATO SHAPE Headquarters in developing and mentoring the Management Board.
John served in the Royal Air Force for sixteen years before working as an executive in defence businesses ahead of his time with RUSI. His latest book on UK defence policy and practice was published by Routledge in 2019, reissued in 2021, and his next on defence exports will be published shortly. Much of his mentoring work is conducted from his home in rural North Devon where he gardens adequately though with enthusiasm.