Rear Admiral Peter Sparkes appointed UK National Hydrographer

17 December 2019

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The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) has announced the appointment of Rear Admiral Peter Sparkes to the position of National Hydrographer and Deputy Chief Executive: a role that helps to improve the sharing, standardisation and collection of marine geospatial data through international collaboration.

As National Hydrographer, Peter is the UK government's representative at the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), where he works with partners to set and maintain standards that protect the safety of mariners around the world. In addition to this, he oversees key international partnerships with foreign navies, hydrographic offices, governments and commercial organisations to support the sharing of global marine geospatial data. On behalf of the UK government, his teams continue to deliver numerous hydrographic and capacity building programmes that help UK Overseas Territories to create safe and sustainable blue economies.

Peter joins the UKHO as a Rear Admiral in the Royal Navy. He has previously served previously in a wide variety of appointments, both at sea and ashore. Notably, he commanded the frigate HMS Cumberland on counter-piracy patrol off Somalia and the UK's Ice Patrol Ship, HMS Protector, in Antarctica. In addition to this, he commanded the 44 units (aircraft carriers, destroyers, frigates, mine-hunters, patrol vessels, and the maritime explosive ordnance disposal teams) of the Portsmouth Flotilla.

Ashore, Peter Sparkes has served in Ministry of Defence acquisition appointments and was responsible for the development and introduction into RN service of the Warship Electronic Charting Display Information System. Prior to joining the UKHO, he served as the Chief of Defence Staff's liaison officer in the Pentagon, Washington DC.

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