Chief Executive Officer, UK Defence Solutions Centre (UKDSC)

Samira is Chief Executive Officer at the UK Defence Solutions Centre (UKDSC) located in Farnborough. She provides strategic leadership to ensure the UKDSC helps deliver the Defence Growth Partnership’s (DGP) key objectives. UKDSC is the DGP’s independent centre of excellence, providing data driven intelligence and informed economic analysis to enable strategic government and industry partnerships to realise export led growth.

With over 20 years of service delivery experience, Samira started her career in financial services managing ~£90M of lending for Merrill Lynch. Samira entered the defence sector in 2013 having joined Serco at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL). She provided a portfolio of roles in support of the Contract Director and Capability Director, to help deliver strategic growth and developed the DSTL account strategy, a team of 400 and a £75M turnover business.

In 2015 Samira was seconded to the UKDSC to help set up the ‘Centre’. Following her secondment, Samira returned to Serco as the Strategy Lead and provided strategic leadership to the Defence Suppliers Forum (DSF) People and Skills initiative on behalf of the co-chairs (MoD 3* Engineering Champion and Serco CEO). She developed, launched, and reported the first biennial DSF skills survey, with recommended interventions to inform the Defence ecosystem. These interventions have been published in the recent Defence Security and Industrial Strategy (DSIS).

In 2018, Samira returned to the UKDSC as Executive Director of Operations focused on delivering the Customer Work Plan (CWP) and securing longer term funding and in Aug 2021 became CEO. Within this time, she has developed a highly skilled team, has recently published the second annual economic report, measuring the prosperity of defence through the Joint Economic Data Hub (JEDHub) and delivered cross sector innovation initiatives, all of which have been recognised in the Defence Security and Industrial Strategy (DSIS). UKDSC has now established itself as an effective bridge between Government and Industry and is currently supporting the AUKUS Pillar 2 dialogue.

In 2019 Samira graduated with an MBA from Warwick Business School, her dissertation focused on how to increase the SQEP across the UK defence enterprise. Samira is married and outside of work, busy with her two dogs Ernie (the fastest Cocker Spaniel in the West) and Snoopy (the Spointer from Cyprus). Samira plays hockey for Romsey 1 XI Ladies and represents the West of England.