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Ian Foxley


Ian completed his PhD in Politics (2023) and his MA in Applied Human Rights (2018) at the University of York and his undergraduate studies, BSc Hons Applied Science (1981) at the Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham. He is also a graduate of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst (1975) and the Army Command and Staff College, now the Defence Academy (1988), where he won the Commandant's Prize for a dissertation on 'the Politics of Generalship'. Noted by Antony Beevor (Inside the British Army, 1990) as a trenchant critique, it effected significant change in the promotion of senior officers to the Army Board, overturning centuries old 'Spanish practices'.  His research interests lie in the area of Speaking Truth to Power and, especially, processes which offer an insight into whistleblowing and responses to it.


Ian is a (very) mature student, who spent 24 years in the British Army including two operational tours in Northern Ireland and Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of the United Nations (UN) and Implementation Force (IFOR) Peacekeeping missions. He spent a further 14 years in the telecommunications industry until 2010 where, as Programme Director for a £1.96billion UK/Saudi government defence procurement contract, he uncovered corrupt payments to the Cayman Islands and blew the whistle to the Serious Fraud Office. The highly political case is 'still' the subject of a criminal fraud investigation. He founded and chaired Whistleblowers UK from 2012 – 2015 as an NGO to support current and future UK based whistleblowers, and to campaign for greater protection against the detriments incurred from Speaking Truth to Power.

As part of his MA course, Ian interned with Natural Justice, an NGO of environmental lawyers based in Cape Town, South Africa, working on the sustainable use of biodiversity for indigenous peoples and local communities. The specific project was to document the processes in the acquisition of an Access and Benefit Sharing agreement for the Khoi and San Peoples in the Rooibos Tea industry. His MA dissertation investigated the relationship between whistleblowers and Human Rights Defenders (HRD) and the ways in which stigma is applied to them.  

Ian continues to actively campaign for improvement of the Public Interest Disclosure Act (1998), seeking parliamentary support for change through the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Whistleblowing, and participation as a Panel Member at the British Standards Institute for the formulation of an international standard for whistleblowing response. He is a member of the International Whistleblowing Research Network and established the Whistleblower Programme at the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime (CISOEC). In 2021 he founded Parrhesia Inc, (π),a charitable, whistleblowing think-tank, emerging out of the research work carried out by whistleblower practitioners and academics.  Parrhesia is focussed on the practice, protection, and promotion of the human rights of whistleblowers in the UK, by producing high-level research that can be used by practitioners and policymakers alike.


Following his MA graduation, Ian moved directly onto his PhD studies extending his research into an investigation into the decisions made by public officials when confronted by ethical challenges in foreign defence procurement contracts. His thesis was supervised by Professor Paul Gready and Dr Alice Nah with Professor Tony Heron (TAP Advisor), and is entitled Contextualising whistleblowing in state institutions - an empirical examination of the reproduction of silence in the Saudi Arabian National Guard Communications (SANGCOM) Project’. The thesis is embargoed until 31st January 2024 due to the ongoing trial of individuals within the Airbus/ GPT affair, but may be conditionally released on application to the author through the White Rose Etheses Online (WREO) site.

Publications and Reports

Foxley I, (1988), The Politics of Generalship, British Army Review 19 and 20, HMSO.
Foxley I, (1994), Command and Control Warfare (C2W), Army Doctrine and Training News, Number 1, May 1994, HMSO.
Foxley I, (2005), Educating Daddy, Bentwyck Henry Publishers.
Foxley I, (2011), God's Quartermaster, Amazon Kindle Edition (May 2011).
Armstrong AF, Foxley I, Francis RD (2015), Whistleblowing: a three-part view, Journal of Financial Crime, Vol.22(2).
Foxley I, (2017), Overcoming Stigma: applying Whistleblowers' experience to Human Rights Defenders, Centre for Applied Human Rights, University of York, September 2017.
Foxley I, (2021), An Ancient Virtue, Index on Censorship, Vol 50, issue 2, July 20, 2021
Foxley I, (2023), Contextualising whistleblowing in state institutions - an empirical examination of the reproduction of silence in the Saudi Arabian National Guard Communications (SANGCOM) Project’, PHD thesis, White Rose Etheses Online (WREO), July 2023

Teaching Experience

Ian has 5 years' experience lecturing and as a seminar leader including:

Leadership and Confidence Building to junior management in Catterick (1982-1984);
Communications Theory and Practice at the Royal Australian School of Signals, Melbourne, Australia (1985-1986); and
Command and Control, Communications, Electronic Warfare, Media Studies and Ethics at the Defence Academy (previously the Army Command and Staff College, Camberley) (1992).
Graduate Teaching Assistant, in Democratic Politics, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of York (2018 – 2022).

Conference Papers

'Looking at the Man in the Mirror' - 2013 AFCE European Fraud Conference, Association Certified Fraud Examiners (AFCE), Prague, 18th March 2013.
'The Experience of a Whistleblower', Integrity in Business Conference, Weltethos-Institute, Tübingen, 19th November 2013.
'The Whistleblower's experience', Information – Shield, Sword, and Achilles Heel kin the fight against economic crime, 32nd Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime, Jesus College Cambridge University, 1st -7th September 2014.
'When Compliance goes wrong- a whistleblower's tale', INSEAD Healthcare Compliance Implementation Leadership Programmes, INSEAD, Paris, 30th June 2015.
'What is and is not whistleblowing?', The limits of the Law: the role of compliance in the 21st Century, 33rd Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime, Jesus College Cambridge University, 6th -13th September 2015.
'Ethical partnering with employees to avoid whistleblower surprises', Annual Conference of the International Bar Association, Washington DC, 18th -23rd September 2016.
'Whistleblowing and why it matters', 11th Annual conference of the Yorkshire and Humber Fraud Forum, Leeds, 16th November 2016.
'Looking at the Man in the Mirror' (Updated paper), Paderborn University, Germany, 6th June 2017.
'Looking at the Man in the Mirror' (Updated paper), Annual Conference of the Fraud Forum London, London, 12th October 2017.
'Whistleblowing and Fraud', ICAEW Corporate Governance Community, London, 7th February 2018.
'How to make a Whistleblower – a recipe for disaster', CMS, City of London, 8th November 2018.
‘The Whistleblower’s Dilemma’, SocSciFOO 2020, O’Reilly  / Facebook HQ, California, USA, September 2020
‘Exploring Complicity and Compromise, Airbus  - a case study’, 39th Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime 2021.
‘The Ethical dilemma’, INSEAD Elective MBA, September 2021, March 2022
‘The Airbus Foreign Corruption Case’, Equinor, Oslo, February 2023

Ian Foxley

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