Deputy National Security Adviser

Alex Ellis


Alex Ellis started as Deputy National Security Adviser for the Integrated Review on diplomacy, development and defence in January 2020. Prior to that he was Director General in the Department for Exiting the EU for three years.

Alex has extensive experience in security issues and strategy, including as:

  • DExEU Director General responsible for the UK-EU security partnership, international agreements with the UK’s closest partners and domestic and EU engagement on Brexit.
  • British Ambassador to Brazil, (2013 - 2017) and Portugal (2007-10).
  • Director of Strategy in the Foreign Office responsible for developing new tools for improving FCO and government policy.
  • Member of the cabinet of the President of the European Commission, with responsibility for energy, climate change, competition, development, trade and strategy; and before that in the UK Representation to the EU working on the negotiations to establish the euro, the seven year budget, and then institutional issues including the Treaty of Nice.

Alex has worked in the British Embassy in Madrid and started his civil service career as part of the team supporting the transition to multi party democracy in South Africa, following the release of Nelson Mandela.

Prior to this Alex was a history teacher. He sings in a choir and loves music, theatre and most sports. He is married to Teresa, and they have one son, Tomás, who has Asperger’s syndrome.

Deputy National Security Adviser

Cabinet Office

Previous roles in government

  1. Director General
  2. British Ambassador to Brazil


  1. ILO Global III Conference on Child Labour
  2. Soft Power: Education and Culture in the UK - Brazil relations