Sir John McLeod Scarlett, KCMG, OBE (born 18 August 1948) is a retired British senior intelligence officer. He was Chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) from 2004 to 2009. Prior to this appointment, he had chaired the Cabinet Office Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC).
Fluent in French and Russian, Scarlett was educated at Epsom College and Magdalen College, Oxford, where in 1969 or 1970 he received a first class degree in history.
Scarlett was at the anti-Vietnam War Grosvenor Square disorders in 1968 and wrote to the newspapers at the time, criticizing the police action.
He was a contemporary of figures including Christopher Hitchens, Robert Jackson, William Waldegrave, Edwina Currie, Stephen Milligan, John Redwood, Jonathan Sumption, William Blair, Bill Clinton and Gyles Brandreth. Shortly afterward, he was recruited by MI6 and served in Moscow, Nairobi (1973–1976), and Paris. In 1994, after a tit-for-tat row between the UK and Russian authorities, Scarlett was expelled from Moscow where he had been MI6's "station chief". He retired from MI6 as Director of Security and Public Affairs in 2001, rejoining in 2004...
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