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Penny Beels
Deputy Director General

Penny Beels is the Deputy Director General of the British Association of Private Security Companies. She came to the BAPSC from a background that encompassed working for Her Majesty’s Government, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the private security industry, International Monitoring in the Balkans and experience of nation and democracy building, including security sector reform, in the Cabinets of successive High Representatives in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Her career began in 1973 as a government servant in the security defence sector. From 1976-1977 she served in Northern Ireland.

In 1978 she joined Control Risks where she played a major part in setting up their Information Service providing incisive analysis of regional and political developments world-wide supplying the private sector with up-to-date information on formulating their business strategy abroad particularly in hostile areas and difficult environments. She then moved to their office in Washington DC to assist develop their opportunities in the Americas returning in 1982 as Executive Assistant to the Managing Director and their Main Board.

She left the security sector in 1983 working in the Art Business establishing a successful picture framing and gallery business.

Returning to the defence sector in 1994 she worked for Defence Systems Ltd (now Armor Group) establishing their Special Projects Department providing security assistance and support to International Agencies and Humanitarian Projects in post conflict areas such as the Balkans and Africa. Working directly with both the Chairman and CEO of the company, she provided the management for the first EU contract in Bosnia and Herzegovina providing mine clearance training.

In 1997 she was recruited by the FCO to join the UK Presidency of the EU Monitoring Mission and spent two years working extensively throughout the Balkans, including the period of the crisis in Kosovo, reporting on the political developments and the social and security situation. She has extensive experience of providing the administration for election monitoring and its processes.

In 1999 she joined the Cabinet of the High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Wolfgang Petritsch, where her responsibilities, along with the constitutional process of state building and establishment of the Rule of Law, included the social problems of refugee return and reconstruction. Throughout this period she worked closely with Andrew Bearpark, whom she had met previously through business with the ODA, now DFID.

In 2001 she assisted in the coordination of the handover of the High Representative to Lord Ashdown and moved to Brussels to manage his representative office as EU Special Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina.