14-17 September 2021, Excel London                       

Ellie Ablett


Ellie Ablett

Ellie Ablett

Assistant Chief of Staff Personnel Capability , Royal Navy
United Kingdom
As Head of People Capability, Commodore Ablett is charged with optimising the single most important factor for the Naval Service - its people - working in collaboration with the Head of Navy People Strategy and her fellow leaders in Navy Command and across the Ministry of Defence.

The daughter of an RAF Officer, Commodore Ablett read Modern History at Somerville College, Oxford, before joining the Royal Navy in 1993 in the first wave of women to join on the same terms as men following the integration of the Women’s Royal Naval Service.  Having enjoyed a varied career as a Logistics Officer at sea and ashore as well as planning for, and deployed on, joint operations, she developed particular expertise in Personnel and Training through roles in Pay and Allowances Policy and Branch Management.  As a Captain, she had the privilege to serve for two years as the Secretary to the First Sea Lord followed by two years as the Commanding Officer of HMS RALEIGH, responsible for delivery of Initial Naval Training for Ratings and the safe and efficient operation of a major Naval Training Establishment. 
Commodore Ablett is an alumni of the Windsor Leadership Trust programme and of Advanced Command and Staff Course, where she earned an MA in Defence Studies and the Cormorant Fellowship for academic excellence.  With a real passion for talent management and promoting inclusive leadership and followership, she established a professional network for women across the Naval Service in 2013, which she continues to lead.  Her contribution was recognised in the New Years’ Honours List in 2014 with the award of the MBE.  Her commitment to supporting other women and the Royal Navy’s Diversity and Inclusion agenda has also been acknowledged by the WeAreTheCity’s Rising Star Champion Award in 2018.  She is also a Vice President of RN Rugby Union.

Commodore Ablett lives in the Brecon Beacons National Park with her husband, Simon, a former Royal Navy Officer who now runs his own outdoor sports coaching and guiding business.  She is happiest outdoors, enjoying hiking, sea kayaking, cycling and stand up paddleboarding and spends any remaining spare time reading or pottering in her garden.


  • DSEI showcases the best of British defence technology and innovation on the world stage. The UK Government looks forward to engaging with strategic partners, international delegations and pioneering defence companies on the global defence and security agenda.
    Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, Minister for Defence Procurement
    UK MOD
  • I very much look forward to continuing my personal support to DSEI. It provides an excellent opportunity to explore the development of airpower capability, through engagement with the widest range of industry and international partners.
    Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier KCB CBE DFC MA RAF Chief of the Air Staff
    Royal Air Force
  • I much look forward to DSEI. We intend to build on the very positive experience as we construct the partnerships we need to deal with the complexity of the future operating environment
    General Sir Nicholas Carter KCB CBE DSO ADC Gen Chief of the Defence Staff
    Ministry of Defence
  • Once again the Royal Navy is proud to be at the vanguard of DSEI 2019 and I look forward to what I know will be a hugely beneficial opportunity for us all to explore maritime warfare development with so many partners from industry and academia, and with our counterparts from overseas.
    Admiral Sir Philip Jones KCB ADC, The First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff
    Royal Navy
  • DSEI is a highlight within the defence calendar, I use it to find out what the most recent developments are in every technological area affecting for defence. Without DSEI I fear this sort of interaction, information exchange and knowledge of developments across all domains would be lost. DSEI is an invaluable international biannual event .
    Rt Hon Dr Julian Lewis MP, Chairman, House of Commons Defence Select Committee
    UK Parliament
  • DSEI is a fantastic showcase for defence companies where international buyers, sellers, developers, thinkers, educators and the trainers can all get together. The UK defence industry is looking to recruit more engineers, scientists and developers into 200,000 jobs and up to 10,000 apprentices within UK defence companies. DSEI is an excellent tool to highlight the challenges the industry face as well as showcase its capabilities domestically and overseas.
    James Gray MP, House of Commons Defence Committee
    UK Parliament

Platinum Partners


  • General Dynamics

  • BAE Systems

International Partner


  • UAE Pavillion




Supported By

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  • Ministry of Defence

  • Department for International Trade