He is the former Director General of the UK Defence Academy, Former Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Capability) and Former Controller of the Navy.

By Mr John Stevenson (Senior Communications Officer), Published

Vice Admiral Duncan Potts CB, was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) at the School of Science & Technology's (SST) graduation ceremony at the Barbican Centre on Monday 17th July 2023.

Those nominated for City’s honorary doctorates have achieved high professional or academic distinction in their fields and are considered outstanding role models for our students.

Vice Admiral Potts was awarded an Honorary Degree in recognition of his outstanding career with the Royal Navy and his contribution to public service.

Vice Admiral Potts is the former Director General, Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, former Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Capability) and former Controller of the Navy from 2013 to 2014.


Vice Admiral Duncan Potts was educated at Wellington School before joining the Royal Navy in 1979.

After training and sea time, he studied at City University, London, graduating with a BSc in Business Systems and Management in 1983.

On promotion to Commander in 1996, Vice Admiral Potts commanded HMS Brilliant and HMS Southampton, and as a Captain, HMS Marlborough.

Throughout this early career he was deployed to various parts of the world to locations such as the Falkland Islands, the Middle East and the Gulf, as well as on NATO operations.

As a Commodore and Rear Admiral, Vice Admiral Potts led Coalition Task Groups in the Gulf and led on naval counter-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia.

He also worked in the Ministry of Defence and was a member of the Navy Board responsible for capability planning.

On promotion to Vice Admiral in September 2014, he became Director-General of the Joint Force Development and Defence Academy.

Since leaving the Royal Navy in 2018, Vice Admiral Potts has established a portfolio career based around defence and security consultancy and is Chair of the Public Weather Service Customer Group, which effectively regulates the UK Meteorological Office. He also has a range of other pro-bono commitments, including being National President of the Royal Naval Association - the principal organisation for retired Royal Navy sailors.


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