Professor Frances Tammer

Frances Tammer has spent 40 years in Government service, primarily working in Defence Intelligence in the Ministry of Defence, but also in the Cabinet Office. Her professional background has entailed overseeing the work of large groups of all source analysts through quality control of work, formal training, continuous learning and on the job training within a framework of regulated standards and legal and ethical requirements. She has been involved in helping craft standards and protocols and training programmes for analysts within Defence Intelligence and also the wider Government-wide body, the Professional Head of Intelligence Analysis.  She is accustomed to promoting best practice through sponsoring a range of analytical techniques cross-Government,  and also provided training in research/analysis in a number of foreign countries and institutions (NATO).

Her tradecraft has been to provide timely, evidence-based, objective assessments to guide decisions on policy, strategy, resources and operations. A premium was placed on distilling complex issues, for the busy reader, as time was usually pressing, with visualisation playing an increasing role. Much of this has been during crises and international operations, so maintaining analytical rigour and integrity under pressurised circumstances was crucial. Being involved in work incorporating the recommendations of the Chilcott Report reinforced the integrity aspects of both policy making and research provision, and how lessons must be both learned and rectified. In 2017 Frances received the Professional Head of Intelligence Award of Outstanding Individual Contribution.

Frances has been strongly involved in gender equality promotion setting up a Gender Equality Group (GEG) within the 4,500 strong Defence Intelligence, acting as its Chair and Champion.  Many of the initiatives were adopted within the organisation, and she built relationships with other Diversity and Inclusion networks across the UK government and with international partners to share information and opportunities. Her personal contribution was recognised as a Finalist in the UK Women in Defence awards in 2016 and 2017. In 2019, the GEG was awarded a Commendation in the UK Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Awards.

Since leaving Government service, Frances has been appointed as Professor of Strategy and Security in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Faculty at the University of Exeter where she will be using her previous expertise and experience to help develop future leaders. In so doing, she will be introducing the professional research standards, tools and techniques used in her government career. She will also be focusing on the implications, including the ethical and practical aspects, of Big Data Analytics and the explosion of Open Source use in the public and private sectors. In addition, she will be working to promote gender equality within another large organisation.

In addition, she is a Trustee for a Sahel focused charity, Concordis International, involved in campaigning for service personnel and veterans and volunteering at a mental health drop-in centre.