As 2020 approaches, senior figures from across government reflect on their highlights and challenges of 2019, look ahead to the next 12 months and share their favourite festive memories
What was your highlight of 2019?
There was a lot to be pleased about: the sea trials of the Queen Elizabeth and the launch of the Prince of Wales; the arrival of the first F35s; how staff responded to Brexit, mainly on behalf of colleagues in other departments. And, of course, the last few overs of the Cricket World Cup. I still haven’t quite recovered from that…
What has been the most significant change in your organisation this year?
This year has been the first year of empowerment in the department really being a theme. It means a lot of things to a lot of different people, but it’s important for everyone.
"There was a lot to be pleased about: the sea trials of the Queen Elizabeth and the launch of the Prince of Wales; the arrival of the first F35s; how staff responded to Brexit"
What will be the biggest challenge of 2020 – and how are you preparing to meet it?
Decisively continuing to transform ourselves into an organisation fit to compete in an era of constant contest in many different ways with many different adversaries. How that plays out in any Spending Review or Defence and Security Review will be key.
Tell us a favourite festive memory from your youth...
I once bought – as a present for my mother – a Scalextric car I was very keen on. I doubt she remembers it quite so fondly!