Ash Alexander Cooper – Former Elite Military Unit Commander

Inspirational Keynote Speaker -

“Ash is one of the most experienced Special Operations soldiers of his generation and has learned these lessons of resilience the hard way! His stories are so inspiring, and it is an honour to call him a friend.”

– Bear Grylls

Ash Alexander-Cooper OBE is a former specialist military unit colonel in the British Armed Forces, world-championship athlete and award-winning international musician. During a 22-year career, Ash became one of the most operationally experienced officers of his generation, spending 82 months deployed leading some of the world’s most elite forces in complex and hostile environments, including the Balkans, the Middle East, and Central Asia. Recognising that companies today experience parallels to what he and his colleagues faced in combat, Ash now helps businesses and leaders develop the skills, mindset, and behaviours necessary to adapt and win.

Leadership & Resilience. Given his expertise in cross-functional collaboration and knowledge sharing within large, international, and geographically dispersed organisations, Ash is skilled in bringing people together to create resilient, high-performing and adaptable teams built on a strong culture of trust and empowerment. Citing stories from his military, business, and sporting careers, Ash shares effective strategies to help clients maximise their potential.

Business Strategy & Change Management. Since retiring from government service, Ash has advised clients across multiple continents in sectors including multi-national healthcare, mining, energy, finance and retail. He established elite advisory services and leadership development firm McChrystal Group’s European practice before joining ground-breaking data analytics company Palantir Technologies, where he focuses on developing international strategic partnerships. He maintains a passion for entrepreneurial thinking, additionally advising a number of innovative start-ups and is a non-executive director of geopolitical advisory firm Gatehouse Advisory Partners.

Peak Performance & Teamwork. The fundamental importance of teamwork has been a recurring theme in Ash’s life. Whether singing on the international stage as a child, representing his country in multiple sports, becoming a counter-terrorist helicopter pilot and jungle survival instructor, or joining the renowned Brigade of Gurkhas, the requirement to build trust, demonstrate empathy, and harness the diverse skills and experience of every team member has proved to be of paramount importance.