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DPhil student Elizabeth Phillips meets Obama in her role as a leader in UK Cyber Security


In September 2015, DPhil student Elizabeth Phillips was selected as the only student alongside nine UK government officials to participate in a US government-sponsored exchange programme set up by the Department of State to identify the top ten leaders in UK Cyber Security.

You can’t apply to this programme, you have to be invited to participated in it. The ten participants were selected by the US Department of State and the US Embassy in London. The programme was designed for participants to learn about US efforts to protect digital infrastructure and to ensure the free flow of information, the security and privacy of data, and the integrity of the networks.

The programme included meeting US government officials working on cyber policy from a wide range of organizations as well as non-governmental cyber experts, private sector representatives, and academics across the United States. Elizabeth has had meetings with the FBI, the Whitehouse – including the National Security Council, Department of Defense, Pentagon, Cyber Command, as well as industry members such as Mozilla, ICANN, Bay Area Council and Wired, in order to brief them and help shape their cyber policies.

As part of the continued relationship between the US and the UK all ten UK representatives were invited to participate in a variety of meetings with the US Ambassador to the UK, US Department of State, UK Government and the US Embassy to the UK.

Elizabeth was invited to meet the President at the ‘Town Hall’ he hosted in London on Saturday 24 April for the next generation of the UK leaders. This included a private 10-minute audience for programme members with President Obama. She took the photo below at the event. 

Before undertaking her DPhil with the Cyber Security Doctoral Training Centre, Elizabeth undertook an undergraduate degree in Maths and Computer Science, at Worcester College, Oxford. She is now at Oriel College, Oxford.