René Balletta

First Sea Lord’s Visiting FellowMilitary Sciences


Commissioned into the Royal Navy as a Warfare Officer in 1992, René has served much of his career at sea in a variety of surface platforms that include frigates, destroyers, amphibious assault ships, aircraft carriers and the Royal Yacht. He has been involved in maritime operations across the globe from the NATO-led naval blockade off the Former-Yugoslavia in 1993, through to anti-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa in 1996; from support operations to land forces in Afghanistan in 2003, through to sitting on the gunline off Libya in 2011. More recently, he has been using his linguistic skills in France as the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF) lead-planning officer for the French Maritime Component Commander during the delivery of the CJEF concept.

He graduated from the Ecole de Guerre (the French Advanced Command & Staff Course) in 2017 gaining a French Masters in Management, Command & Strategy and went on to complete his second French Masters in International Relations at the Sorbonne in 2019 whilst working at the French Ministry of Defence. Following a year as the Royal Navy’s Hudson Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford, where his research interests focused on the development of the Royal Navy’s transformation programme for Forward Presence its role in delivering Global Britain, he was assigned to the Head of the French Navy’s Cabinet, working in Strategy and Policy.

He now takes up the inaugural role as the First Sea Lord’s Visiting Fellow to RUSI, where he hopes to link the Naval Staff in with greater academic thinking and access across the wide scope of international relations, defence, and security issues. He is therefore interested in being approached for involvement in studies of mutual interest and is happy to assist anywhere that a maritime security practitioner with IR knowledge maybe of use.