Video On Demand

UK’s First Sea Lord on the Royal Navy

October 17, 2023 • 3:00 – 3:45 pm EDT

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Please join the CSIS International Security Program (ISP) for a discussion with the UK’s First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Ben Key, and Dr. Seth G. Jones, CSIS senior vice president and ISP director.

On the anniversary week of Admiral Horatio Nelson’s victory at Trafalgar in 1805, Admiral Key and Dr. Jones will discuss the modern issues facing the Royal Navy, including recruitment and retention, the UK’s role in the Indo-Pacific, and continued response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Adm Sir Ben Key, KCB, CBE, ADC

Adm Sir Ben assumed his post as First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff in November of 2021. Previously Adm Sir Ben served as Chief of Joint Operations, Fleet Commander and Chief Naval Warfare Officer, Flag Officer Sea Training, and has held command of the aircraft carrier, HMS Illustrious. Adm Key is a qualified aircrewman and Principal Warfare Officer.

In his role as First Sea Lord, Adm Sir Ben serves as head of the Royal Navy, a force of over 30,000 active personnel and 70 commissioned ships. From Trafalgar to the Falklands, the Royal Navy has developed a reputation as one of the most formidable naval forces in the world, operating in every ocean and continent on, over, and under the sea.

Adm Key holds a degree in physics from Royal Holloway, University of London; a diploma from the Institute of Directors; and is an alumnus of the London Business School. Admiral Sir Ben was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 2021 and holds the Freedom of the City of London, amongst other honors.

Seth G. Jones
Senior Vice President; Harold Brown Chair; and Director, International Security Program
Portait of Adm Sir Ben

Adm Sir Ben Key, KCB, CBE, ADC

First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff