Richard Moore's biggest challenge is likely to be China, which the US identifies as its major geopolitical foe, though he will fight for funding after British politicians splurged on the coronavirus crisis.

A photo taken of the new MI6 spy chief, Richard Moore, during his tenure as British Ambassador to Turkey.
A photo taken of the new MI6 spy chief, Richard Moore, during his tenure as British Ambassador to Turkey. (AA)

Britain named career diplomat and intelligence officer Richard Moore as the new chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6.

A British government statement confirmed on Tuesday that Moore will succeed Sir Alex Younger, who has been chief of the spy agency for the past six years.

Moore, a father-of-two, was born in Libya and studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University and was a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard.

He most recently served as Director-General, Political in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, a post which he has held since 2018 after serving as British Ambassador to Turkey from January 2014 to December 2017.

Challenges

His biggest challenge is likely to be China, which the US has identified as its major geopolitical foe, though he will also have to fight for funding after British politicians splurged on the coronavirus crisis.

As technology transforms espionage, Moore will have to work out how one of the world's preeminent human intelligence services can best garner mass data while preserving its renown for getting high-level sources to steal secrets across the world.

Biography

His official biography says his interests “include golf, hiking, scuba diving, Turkish carpets and porcelain, and visiting historical sites.”

The 57-year-old had joined MI6 in 1987, four years before the collapse of the Soviet Union and most recently had a short stint as Deputy National Security Advisor (Intelligence, Security and Resilience) in 2018.

Described as an accomplished spy and well respected across Britain's intelligence community, Moore served in various senior diplomatic and security roles before winning MI6's top job. 

Younger, has served since November 2014. He stayed on longer than is usual to ensure stability through the political tumult of the Brexit negotiations.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies