Nigel Essenhigh

Nigel Essenhigh
Sir Nigel Essenhigh
Admiral Sir Nigel Essenhigh
Crown Copyright
Born 1944
Newcastle upon Tyne, England, UK
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Years of service 1963-2002
Rank Admiral
Commands held HMS Nottingham
HMS Exeter
Battles/wars Cold War
Falklands War
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath

Admiral Sir Nigel Richard Essenhigh, GCB, ADC (born 1944) is a British admiral who served as First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy from 2001 to 2002.

Naval career

Essenhigh was born in Newcastle and attended St. Cuthbert's School. He joined the Royal Navy in 1963 and qualified as a Principal Warfare Officer in 1972, specialising in navigation.[1]

After his promotion to commander in 1980 he joined the Ministry of Defence for duty with Naval Manpower Training and took command of the Type 42 destroyer HMS Nottingham in 1982. His next post was on board HMS Ark Royal during its construction in 1984 and he was promoted to captain in 1985. [1]

After graduating from the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1987 he returned to the Ministry of Defence and the Naval Plans Department, and he took command of another destroyer, HMS Exeter, from 1989 to 1992.[1]

Promotion to rear admiral came in 1994 when he took up the position of Hydrographer of the Navy and he became Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Programmes) in 1996. Two years later he was promoted to full admiral and was appointed to the job of Commander-in-Chief Fleet. In 2001 he became First Sea Lord.[1]

Later career

In retirement he has taken up an appointment as a Non-Executive Director of Babcock International.[2] He is a Patron of Journey South 2007, an expedition to the South Pole.

On 18 January 2010 Northrop Grumman announced the appointment of Essenhigh as chief executive of its Information Systems Europe business. In this new position, he will focus on the strategic direction of Northrop Grumman's activities in the defence and civil IT, C4ISTAR and counter-IED markets in the UK, mainland Europe and its export markets. He will continue in his role as Non-Executive Chairman for Northrop Grumman in the UK, and has been the Non-Executive Director for Northrop Grumman UK since 2008.[3]


Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Michael Boyce
Commander-in-Chief Fleet
1998 – 2000
Succeeded by
Sir Alan West
Preceded by
Sir Michael Boyce
First Sea Lord
2001 – 2002
Succeeded by
Sir Alan West

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