Sue Williams

Suzanne Williams QPM

Associate Fellow

Saïd Business School
University of Oxford
Park End Street


Suzanne Williams is an Associate Fellow of Saïd Business School where she teaches on the Oxford Programme on Negotiation. She is an experienced and internationally renowned hostage negotiator.

As a London senior detective Sue was the Officer in Charge of both the Kidnap and the Hostage Crisis Negotiation Units at Scotland Yard. At the highest-level Sue has been an active contributor to the UK Government's crisis response process in cases of kidnap or abduction overseas. She has regularly advised senior ministers as part of the Cabinet Office Briefings (COBRA), the Governments crisis management structure.

Sue qualified as an Hostage Negotiator both in the UK with New Scotland Yard and in the USA with the Federal Bureau of Investigation 27 years ago. Since that time she has contributed to the successful resolution of hundreds of kidnaps and hostage situations on land and the high seas. More recently she has undertaken cyber negotiations as a tactic for combating extortion.

Sue is a recipient of the Queen's Police Medal; this was in recognition of her commitment in the fields of kidnap, negotiation and saving of life.


Sue is a visiting lecturer at the University of Harvard USA, where she works with the international humanitarian sector.

She teaches at Saïd Business School, Oxford University, where she shares hostage negotiation tools and tactics with the participants on the Oxford Programme on Negotiation. This unique approach to business negotiations and good communication has been well received within the programme. During these sessions, Sue uses her extensive hostage negotiation experience to teach  influence without authority and how to formulate negotiation strategies suitable for successful business transactions.

Sue has also appeared on the Money Programme (BBC Radio 4) with other OPN colleagues, as well as on The Reluctant Feminist, Woman’s Hour and the Museum of Curiosity.

The negotiation training and learning always evolve as Sue continues to engage in high stake hostage negotiation on a daily basis.