Des Browne

Vice Chair, NTI

Lord Browne of Ladyton (Des Browne) is a British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament for Kilmarnock and Loudoun from 1997 to 2010.

As a back-bencher, he served on the Northern Ireland Affairs and Public Administration Select Committees. In 1998, he became the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Donald Dewar, Secretary of State for Scotland.  In 2000, he became PPS to Adam Ingram, Minister of State for Northern Ireland.  Subsequently, he served on the first Joint Committee on Human Rights.

In 2001, he was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.  In 2003, Browne was promoted to Minister of State for Work at the Department for Work & Pensions and in 2004, he was appointed Minister for Immigration & Citizenship in the Home Office.  Re-elected in 2005, he joined the Cabinet as Chief Secretary to the Treasury and was appointed to the Privy Council.

In 2006, he was appointed Secretary of State for Defence, and from 2007 to 2008, he combined this role with the role of Secretary of State for Scotland.  In October 2008, he returned to the back-benches and was appointed Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Special Envoy to Sri Lanka.  He also served on the first Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy.

From October 2009 until March 2014, he was Convenor of the Top Level Group of Parliamentarians for Multi-Lateral Nuclear Disarmament and Non-proliferation.  He co-founded the European Leadership Network and has been the Chair of its Board of Trustees and Directors since its inception. In July 2010, he was introduced to the House of Lords.

Since 2014, Lord Browne has served as NTI's Vice Chair. In this role, he helps shape NTI’s strategic direction, including long-term planning and international outreach.

Analysis

The best way for our leaders to remember the dead on Armistice Day? Do everything they can to avoid a nuclear war

This weekend marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, one of the world’s most horrific conflicts. One of the best accounts of how this tragedy began, by the historian Christopher Clark, details how a group of well-meaning European leaders – “The Sleepwalkers” – led their nations into a war with 40 million military and civilian casualties. Today, we face similar risks of mutual misunderstandings and unintended signals, compounded by the potential for the use of nuclear weapons – where millions could be killed in minutes rather than over four years of protracted trench warfare. Do we have the tools to prevent an incident turning into unimaginable catastrophe?

Nuclear Weapons in the New Cyber Age

NTI’s new report, Nuclear Weapons in the New Cyber Age, addresses the study group’s chilling conclusion that a successful cyberattack on nuclear weapons or related systems—including nuclear planning systems, early warning systems, communication systems, and delivery systems, in addition to the nuclear weapons themselves—could have catastrophic consequences.

Preventing Nuclear Conflict in Europe

In the Euro-Atlantic region today, the risks of a fateful error leading to nuclear conflict are compounded by heightened tensions between NATO and Russia – and little communication between military and political leaders. In the absence of some positive initiative, we will continue to drift toward danger.

Ensuring Euro-Atlantic Security

In the lead up to the Munich Security Conference, Des Browne, Wolfgang Ischinger, Igor Ivanov and Sam Nunn write on key steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of confrontation in the Euro-Atlantic region.

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