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Our People

Mr Neil Unsworth OBE

Member of Common Room

Head of Risk & Resilience

University Administration Services

Prior to assuming the role of Head of Risk & Resilience at the University of Oxford, Neil spent a full career as a professional soldier. Commissioned as an infantry officer in 1990, he commanded on operations at every level from platoon commander to Commander British Land Forces in Iraq, his final military appointment.

Neil has a wealth of operational experience ranging from peacekeeping in Northern Ireland and The Balkans to combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the United Kingdom he managed crises ranging from major flooding in the North East of England to maintaining the British Army’s operational training output through the Covid-19 pandemic.

He served as a senior military advisor to several partner nations briefing presidents, ministers and generals. He was a Director at the United Kingdom Defence Academy, is the author of the British Army’s doctrine for ground close combat and has lectured at military institutions across Europe, the Middle East and in the United States. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic he acted as a ‘coping with crisis’ mentor to a senior NHS leader.

Neil was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2011 and awarded the NATO Meritorious Service Medal in 2017 for leadership in Afghanistan. In his spare time, he enjoys being with his family, reading, history and art. He runs most days and goes rock climbing and hillwalking whenever he gets chance.