Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6, is advertising for a new real-life “Q” – a tech guru inspired by the gadget mastermind in the James Bond films.
Richard Moore, the head of MI6 ( Military Intelligence, Section 6) even went on Twitter to clarify just who the agency was seeking to hire.
As I said in my weekend interview, we’re looking for a new ‘Q’. If you want to serve your country by helping MI6 to develop the operational technology of the future, please take a look - https://t.co/y7ifHaEeDP— Richard Moore (@ChiefMI6) April 29, 2021
Acknowledging that they had decided to go along with the name “Director General Q", in a nod to the spy saga, he said on Thursday that the agency was headhunting for someone able to harness the “operational technology of the future”.
In the Bond film series, “Q” was able to provide agent 007 with an array of gadgets ranging from an Aston Martin sports car with a passenger ejector seat to an exploding ballpoint pen.
The advert itself - Job Reference:AAMARD – reads that the individual whose services they hope to enlist will oversee teams working on technologies to be used in operations against “the UK’s hardest adversaries”.
It goes on to explain that the MI6 team needs to be able to turn disruptive technologies from “threats to our operations into opportunities”.
To enable MI6 to advance to the “leading edge of digital innovation,” the applicant will need to be a “senior, entrepreneurial leader, with experience leading a cutting-edge digital, technology, or engineering business, and a track record of delivering digital transformation and cultural change”.
All-important discretion is underscored in the advert, as the successful candidate “will not be publicly avowed”.
Potential applicants are warned against discussing their intention to seek employment with the spy agency, in accordance with MI6 standard security practices.
The closing date for applications is 26 May.
In line with the recent trends, MI6 stressed its commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion. Looking ahead, the Secret Intelligence Service said that over the next five years it would take efforts to duly reflect the make-up of the UK’s population. This will pertain to sexual orientation, ethnicity, and disability.
Earlier, Richard Moore explained to Times Radio that it was decided that in this case “life imitates art”.
Accordingly, they had named the new recruit to lead its technical team after the Bond character.
“We were reshaping it a few years ago and we couldn’t think of the right name for it and in the end we thought ‘Well, come on, let’s go for it, and so we decided to call it Q. So we have done ever since and this will be the leader of that team”, Moore said.
"There's something about... having to do some pretty wild things... when the adrenaline is rushing."— Times Radio (@TimesRadio) April 24, 2021
In a UK media exclusive, Richard Moore, @ChiefMI6, speaks to G&T on Sunday from 10am - the first broadcast interview of a serving MI6 head.@GloriaDePiero | @tnewtondunn pic.twitter.com/oqialBctpy
The spy agency chief added they were hoping to recruit someone with a background in industry:
“We are in an increasingly contested, difficult world where technology is making what we do for a living more of a challenge. We have to therefore use and harness technology. The only way we can do that, I think, is with good leadership and somebody who can help us partner with the private sector effectively.”