Sam des Forges
Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Ministry of Defence
In February 2021, Sam was appointed the first ever Ministry of Defence (MOD) Director of Diversity and Inclusion. She provides support and challenge to colleagues across the Whole Force to ensure that Defence truly harnesses the power of difference to drive capability that safeguards our nation’s security and stability. Sam was previously the Director of Assurance, leading a diverse team of professionals who delivered risk, assurance, counter-fraud, anti-corruption and cost management activities across Defence.
Prior to January 2019, Sam was MOD Head of Fraud Defence, leading on the prevention, detection and investigation of fraud and corruption in Defence. Sam worked with cross-Government colleagues to develop and launch the Government Counter Fraud Profession and Functional Standards. She has represented the UK on the Five Eyes Fraud and Anti-Corruption Network and is a regular speaker at NATO Building Integrity events. Sam was the strategic lead for the MOD input on the UK Anti-Corruption Strategy, published in December 2017.
Sam joined the MOD in July 2016 from Network Rail, where she was Head of Business Integrity, developing a proactive and reactive counter fraud and corruption capability and ethical culture.
Prior to joining Network Rail, Sam spent 15 years with Ernst & Young where she led a variety of multi-jurisdictional bribery and corruption investigations, employee fraud investigations, ethical culture programmes and counter fraud governance reviews. During this time, she was seconded to the UK Financial Services Authority Enforcement Division for two years, acting as an Appointed Investigator on a complex, multi-million pound corporate fraud.
Sam is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW) and an ICAEW Accredited Forensic Accountant.
Sam is the MOD LGBT+ Champion and Senior Role Model, an advocate for members of the community across Defence, providing strategic guidance and supporting the work of the LGBT+ networks. She was previously the MOD Gender Champion and remains an active supporter of the MOD Gender networks.