Rear Admiral Richard Cobbold CB FRAeS took up his appointment as Director of RUSI in September 1994. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and a Governor of the London Nautical School. He has been a specialist adviser to the House of Commons Defence Committee since 1997, and is senior policy adviser to the Ocean Security Institute in Washington.
He served in the Royal Navy for 33 years, specialising as a seaman officer and then as a helicopter observer. Later in his career he commanded the frigates HMS MOHAWK and HMS BRAZEN, and was Captain of the 2nd Frigate Squadron in HMS BRILLIANT. He was a member of the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1984 and his appointments in the Ministry of Defence included Director of Defence Concepts in 1987, looking to the capabilities required by the three Services 25 years ahead. Promoted Rear Admiral in 1991, he served as Assistant Chief of Defence Staff Operational Requirements for Sea Systems until 1994, and additionally as ACDS (Joint Systems) from 1992.
He retired from the Royal Navy in March 1994. He has written numerous articles for RUSI and other publications, and contributes widely to the national and international media on defence and security issues.
- Asia-Pacific Foundation (2001)