Gill Bennett was Chief Historian of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office from 1995-2005, and Senior Editor of the UK's official history of British foreign policy, Documents on British Policy Overseas. As a historian in Whitehall for over thirty years, she provided historical advice to twelve Foreign Secretaries under six Prime Ministers, from Edward Heath to Tony Blair. A specialist in the history of secret intelligence, she published a ground-breaking biography, Churchill's Man of Mystery: Desmond Morton and the World of Intelligence, in 2006. Since leaving the FCO in 2005 Gill has continued to advise Whitehall departments on historical issues, particularly on intelligence-related topics, She was also part of the research team working on the official history of the Secret Intelligence Service by Professor Keith Jeffery, published in 2010.
Gill's new book, Six Moments of Crisis: Inside British Foreign Policy, will be published on 14 February 2013 by Oxford University Press. Using examples ranging from the Korean war in 1950 to the Falklands in 1982, she draws on her experience as a Whitehall insider to show how complex foreign policy-making is, and how ministers faced with difficult decisions are subject to pressures from all sides, domestic, international and personal.