LONDON (Realist English). Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, with the agreement of the Prime Minister, announced that Anne Keast-Butler has been appointed to succeed Sir Jeremy Fleming as Director GCHQ, responsible for providing signal intelligence (SIGINT) and ensuring the reliability of information to the government and the armed forces of the kingdom.
For the first time in history, the agency will be headed by a woman. Anne Keast-Butler has until recently worked as Deputy Director General for Strategy of the British internal intelligence service MI5.
At MI5, she was responsible for all the enabling functions that support the operational activities of the intelligence service, including monitoring by MI5 employees of Russia’s preparation of the special operation in the Ukraine and responding to it.
Keast Butler will replace Sir Jeremy Fleming as head of GCHQ, who in January announced his decision to resign after six years in charge of the intelligence service. She will take office in May of this year.
GCHQ is the main British signal intelligence agency and is closely associated with the US National Security Agency, as well as with sister agencies in Canada, Australia and New Zealand within the Five Eyes intelligence consortium.