John Adye

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Sir John Anthony Adye KCMG (born 24 October 1939) is a former Director of the British signals intelligence agency, GCHQ, a post he held from 1989 to 1996.


Educated at Leighton Park School and Lincoln College, Oxford,[1] Adye joined GCHQ in the mid-1960s becoming Director in 1989. After retiring from GCHQ in 1996, he served as the chair of the Country Houses Association until 2002.[2] In 2005 he was appointed to the board of the US National Biometric Security Project.[2]

Adye was a witness in February 2008 at the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales: in an unprecedented move (normal policy is neither to confirm nor deny operational activities), he strenuously denied that GCHQ had any involvement in either the Camillagate or Squidgygate tapes.[3]


Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Peter Marychurch
Director of GCHQ
Succeeded by
Sir David Omand