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Speaker biography

Steve’s career began in the Royal Air Force as an engineer officer working with Tornado, Jaguar and the Adour aero engine. He became a Chartered Engineer through the Royal Aeronautical Society and held a military airworthiness licence. After his time with the RAF, he read for an MSc in Computer Science at Oxford University (St Cross College) and joined a specialist, entrepreneurial software firm as Head of Consulting and Product Manager before taking on various senior roles in technical contexts.

In partnership with Toby Baxendale, Dr Tim Evans and Dr Anthony Evans, Steve co-founded The Cobden Centre, an educational charity for social progress through honest money, free trade and peace. He also established and chairs an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Economics, Money and Banking and he is a Vice Chair of the Aerospace APPG. He serves on Parliament’s Transport Committee.

In his spare time, Steve enjoys skydiving, motorcycling and spending time with his wife and godchildren.

More details

My career began in the Royal Air Force as an engineer officer working with Tornado, Jaguar and the Adour aero engine. This took me all over the world, leading teams of up to 110 people, from Alaska to Hong Kong and Arctic Norway to Egypt and Oman. I had the privilege to support peacekeeping operations over the former Republic of Yugoslavia. I became a Chartered Engineer through the Royal Aeronautical Society and I have held a military airworthiness licence, working with a number of manufacturers serving the RAF.

The Berlin Wall fell and the dot-com boom offered opportunity so I read for an MSc in Computer Science at Oxford University (St Cross College) and joined a specialist, entrepreneurial software firm as Head of Consulting and Product Manager. I have since worked in various capacities in the UK, US, Europe and Japan with small and large corporations — including business software developers and investment banks — with financial regulators and with central and local government. My roles have included Chief Technology Officer, Director of Product Development, Principal Consultant and Chief Architect.

I am in politics to re-establish a working system of Parliamentary democracy, to foster peaceful relations between communities and to preserve and extend our social and material prosperity through sound economics.

Cobden CentreWorking in partnership with Toby Baxendale, Dr Tim Evans and Dr Anthony Evans, I established The Cobden Centre, an educational charity for social progress through honest money, free trade and peace. I have been instrumental in assembling a team of academics, entrepreneurs, banking practitioners and parliamentarians capable of formulating, advocating and delivering the banking reforms we need.

I am passionate about the lot of all sectors of society, including the poorest, giving my time prior to election as an Associate Consultant to The Centre for Social Justice, where I used my consulting and managerial skills to assist in the development of practical implementation plans. I care particularly about the plight of the homeless, working in Wycombe Winter Night Shelter during Winters 08/09, 09/10 and 10/11 and previously in an Oxford day centre.

I value achievement over process and humanity over bureaucracy. I believe in liberty under the law, responsibility, enterprise and nation. Everyone should be afforded the right and the dignity to make their own decisions and determine their own destiny; none should be condemned to poverty and hopelessness.

I am married to Beth, who was until 2010 a senior officer in the Royal Air Force medical branch. I have supported Beth through service in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. We have no children but five wonderful Godchildren plus their siblings. I was born to working class parents in Cornwall, where I attended a great comprehensive school and a state sixth form college. I was baptised into the Church of England as a teenager — unusually by immersion in the sea — and I am now a member of a small village church near High Wycombe.

For fun, I currently focus on skydiving, advanced driving and motorcycling. I have also enjoyed fast catamaran sailing, crewing a tall ship, piloting a light aircraft, SCUBA diving, hill walking, driving a rescue RHIB, skiing and golf.  I would like everyone to have these kinds of choices and the means to see them through. Occasionally, I take a worthwhile photograph.

Steve sailing a Hobie 16 with the hull high

Steve sailing a Hobie 16 with the hull high

Everyone, regardless of background, should have the opportunity to make life a full, joyful, responsible adventure.

You can read some of my recommendations here.

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