Sky News understands that the international trade secretary will announce the appointment of Dr. Henry Pearson as the UK’s new cyber security ambassador on Friday.
Dr. Pearson’s arrival will fill a position that was left vacant well over a year when Conrad Prince stepped down.
The role, which pays a senior civil servant’s salary, is designed to promote the cyber capabilities of British companies in international markets.
A Department for International Trade (DIT) insider said that Dr. Pearson would focus on countries in the Gulf and south-east Asia, and seek to help UK-based businesses win contracts with governments and central banks.
UK cybersecurity experts are forecast to be worth £2.6bn annually by 2021.
Dr. Pearson has worked at the National Cyber Security Centre, the Ministry of Defence and Detica, the cyberdefence subsidiary of BAE Systems.
His appointment comes amid a raging debate about the role of Huawei, the Chinese telecoms equipment manufacturer, in building Britain’s 5G communications network.
Huawei has vigorously dismissed long-standing suggestions that it is funded by Beijing, but doubts about its engineering competence have fuelled concerns about the wisdom of allowing the company to play a role in critical national infrastructure.
A DIT spokeswoman declined to comment on Dr. Pearson’s appointment ahead of a formal announcement.
Author: Mark Kleinman