Rachel Briggs OBE

Leading authority on kidnapping, risk and resilience

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Award-winning risk and security advisor to multinational corporations
First Director of Hostage UK
Founder of Hostage US

Rachel Briggs OBE is one of the world’s leading authorities on kidnapping and advises multinational corporations on risk and security.

After experiencing the kidnapping of a family member, she wrote The Kidnapping Business and went on to help found and run Hostage UK (2007-2017) and Hostage US (2015-2020), which support hostages and their families during and after a kidnapping. She has worked on hundreds of cases of international kidnapping and was awarded an OBE in 2013 for this work.

She has authored dozens of reports on security and terrorism, which have directly influenced governments, multinational corporations and nonprofit organizations in Europe and North America. Her report, The Business of Resilience, is considered the blueprint for effective global corporate security by multinational corporations, many of whom seek out her advice on their security and risk strategies. She was recipient of the International Security Management Association (ISMA) Outstanding Individual award in 2016.

She has written for national newspapers and magazines, including The Washington Post, the Financial Times and Foreign Policy, is a frequent commentator on broadcast media, and was featured as the Saturday Profile in The New York Times.

She is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Global Center on Cooperative Security, an Associate Fellow of Chatham House and a member of Jim’s Legacy Advisory Council at the James W Foley Legacy Foundation set up by Jim Foley’s mother, Diane.

 

Suggested talks:

What Hostages Teach Us About Resilience, Teamwork and Wellbeing: Surviving captivity requires huge amounts of strength and resilience. When a hostage is released, their next challenge begins: surviving survival, working with their family to rebuild relationships, finding their way back to the workplace, and learning to rely on a network of specialists that will help them to rebuild their body, mind, and life and to thrive once again in their new normal. This talk draws on what I’ve seen and learned working with hundreds of former hostages and their families, and draws on latest knowledge of resilience, wellbeing and team-work in high pressure situations.

 

The Business of Risk and Resilience: the decisions we make when the stakes are high can make or break a business. The history of corporate crisis shows that – counter-intuitively – some businesses win out of the crisis. Their magic secret? Solid foundations. Drawing on two decades observing companies handle hostage situations and advising multinational corporations on risk and security, this talk will provide a strategy for success in the bad times, as well as the good.

 

Crisis Management: Why people are central to success. Even the best plans can fail, especially in the face of low risk, high impact risks, such as kidnapping, terrorism, global pandemics and health emergencies and social unrest. Successfully managing these types of incidents is a largely human challenge. What is your duty of care to your people? Does this extend to their families? How do you maintain morale, focus and motivation in the face of extended crises? How do you keep your people “on message” and playing as part of the team given the lure of social media? And how do you rebuild afterwards to ensure your people, teams and organization can grow and thrive? This talk will draw on extensive experience working with organizations during and after hostage crises and work with risk and security teams to prepare for these and other extended critical incidents.

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