Lord (George Islay MacNeill) Robertson is Special Adviser to BP, Chairman of BP Russian Investments Ltd and Senior Counselor at The Cohen Group (USA). He was NATO Secretary General from 1999-2003 and UK Defence Secretary from 1997-1999. He was Member of Parliament for Hamilton and then Hamilton South from 1978-1999.
He was born in Port Ellen, Isle of Islay, Scotland and educated at Dunoon Grammar School and the University of Dundee (MA Hons in Economics in 1968).
He was appointed the United Kingdom Secretary of State for Defence in 1997. In October 1999 he took up appointment as the 10th Secretary General of NATO and Chairman of the North Atlantic Council and was elevated to the House of Lords. Lord Robertson was appointed to Her Majesty’s Privy Council in 1997. In 2004 he was personally appointed by the Queen as one of the sixteen Knights of the Thistle (KT), and awarded the GCMG (Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George). In 2011 he was appointed Chancellor of that Order. He was awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s top civilian honour, in 2003, and has been awarded the highest national honours from many countries. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2003 and has fourteen Honorary Doctorates. He is Honorary Professor of Politics at the University of Stirling.
He was Senior Independent Director of The Weir Group plc until February 2015, is a Non-Executive Director of Western Ferries (Clyde) Ltd., and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. He was Deputy Chairman of the Board and Chairman of the Audit Committee of TNK-BP (BP’s £50 bn market cap joint venture in Russia) from 2006-2013. He has also served on the Boards of Cable and Wireless plc, where he was Executive Deputy Chairman and Chairman of CW International 2004-2007, the Smiths Group plc, and Monaco Telecom SA.
He is Chairman of the Ditchley Foundation, an Elder Brother of Trinity House, Chairman of the FIA Foundation, a Trustee of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust and the British Forces Foundation and a Prime Ministerial appointee to the Advisory Board of the First World War Commemoration. He is on the Councils of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Centre for European Reform and the European Council on Foreign Relations as well as the International Advisory Board of the Atlantic Council of the US. He served as Joint President of the Royal Institute of International Affairs 2001-2011 and now serves on their Panel of Senior Advisers. He served as Honorary Regimental Colonel of the London Scottish (Volunteers) from 2000 to 2016.