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25 January 2024

Ambassador discusses future of digital diplomacy at King's

The emergence of artificial intelligence, investment in digital infrastructure, and the importance of cyber security were some of the themes discussed during a talk hosted at King’s College London.

Professor Luca Viganò with Henri Verdier. Picture: SPE

Henri Verdier, the French ambassador for digital affairs and cyber security since 2018, spoke to students and scholars at King’s on 24 January about his role as a leading figure in digital diplomacy with the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.

Mr Verdier’s work has seen him engage with governments around the world on some of the biggest emerging issues in the digital sphere. In his talk, Mr Verdier highlighted the rise of online threats to states and businesses, tackling the monopolies of ‘big tech’ firms, and the importance of creating public infrastructure to enable digital access for everyone.

Henri Verdier at King's College London. Picture: SPE

The ambassador also took questions from the audience, sharing his thoughts on the challenges of maintaining an independent internet, on state ‘cyber power’, and tackling malicious actors online.

The event was co-hosted by the Department of European and International Studies, the Department of Informatics and the Department of War Studies. Representatives from the European and International Studies King’s Association and The Cybersecurity Group led the Q&A session.