Avril left university with two degrees in Engineering, including a Dip Ing in Nuclear Engineering and joined the Ministry of Defence (MOD) on the Science and Engineering Fast Stream in 1995.
She worked in a number of operational policy areas, such as Bosnia, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan and worked on contingency planning for Homeland crises. Her first SCS post was the MOD’s Head of Export Policy and Assurance, where she was responsible for the assessment of military equipment export clearances against counter-proliferation legislation.
In May 2011, Avril joined Thales UK as Director Anglo-French Relations. In 2015, she took on the role of Head of Policy and International Relations, representing Thales UK across all aspects of senior Government policy making and understanding the UK’s strategic international relations position. She was also a company director for Thales Alenia Space UK, the UK arm of Europe’s largest space company. In Sept 2022, Avril re-joined MOD as the Director General for Industry, Trade and Economic Security, leading on a number of key policy areas including industrial strategy, exports, economic and investment security, space, climate change, levelling up and the Union. She is also responsible for MODSAP and other UK activities in Saudi Arabia.