Career intelligence officer Alex Younger is the new chief of MI6 Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), according to the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Friday.
The 51-year old Younger is now the new “M”, popularized in James Bond movies but otherwise known as “C” after the first head Sir George Mansfield Smith-Cumming, replacing Sir John Sawers who is stepping down after 5 years as chief of the country’s spy agency. The appointment is a sign of continuity of policy and strategy as Younger has served as the right-hand man for Sawers.
Younger has oversaw the agency’s worldwide intelligence operations the past 2 years. He had overseas postings in Europe and the Middle East and was the senior SIS officer in Afghanistan. He also led MI6’s work on counter-terrorism in the run up to the London Olympic Games 2012, according to the FCO.
The SIS, commonly known as MI6 (Military Intelligence, Section 6), is the British intelligence agency that supplies foreign intelligence to the British government. It was founded in 1909 and currently employs around 3,200 people with its headquarters in Vauxhall Cross, central London.