British Army’s highest ranking female officer delivers lecture

Lieutenant General Sharon Nesmith will deliver this year’s Mountbatten Lecture.

LT General Sharon Nesmith

Lessons learnt from Ukraine and how the Army is modernising to meet future threats will form the focus on the talk.

LT General Nesmith will also draw from her own experiences and will speak about the importance of the Officer Training Corps and the opportunities the British Army provides.

Before her career in the military, LT General Nesmith studied at the University of Edinburgh, graduating with a degree in Biological Sciences.

During her time at university, she was awarded a cadetship and served with the City of Edinburgh Universities Officers’ Training Corps.

Book tickets

The lecture will take place at the Playfair library in Old College, at 5pm on Tuesday 28 March. It will be followed by a Q&A and reception.

The event is free and is open to all. Tickets are available on a first come, first serve basis and must be booked in advance.

Book tickets

Inspiring leader

LT General Nesmith has held the position of Deputy Chief of the General Staff in the British Army since August 2022.

The role included a promotion from Lieutenant Major to Lieutenant General. She is the first female army officer to hold this rank – the second highest currently used within the British Army.

She has held a range of positions within the British Army, including the 1st (United Kingdom) Signal Brigade and General Officer Commander the Army Recruiting and Initial Training Command.

She has also served as Colonel Capability Plans in the Army Headquarters, the Head of Manning as a Brigadier, the Director of Personnel as a Major General, and has been the Senior Responsible Officer for the Armed Forces Recruiting Programme. 

Mountbatten lecture

The Mountbatten Lecture is an annual event at the University of Edinburgh.

Each year, an expert on defence-related matters is invited to speak to staff, students and the wider public.

Previous speakers include astronaut Neil Armstrong, Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Wigston, broadcaster Kate Adie, and NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson.

Related links

Lecture series | The University of Edinburgh