After graduating from The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Leo attended The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and commissioned into the British Army in 2001. During six years of military service Leo saw active service in Iraq and Afghanistan and on leaving the Army published an account of his experiences of the War on Terror in Desert of Death: a Soldier’s Journey from Iraq to Afghanistan (Faber and Faber 2007).
Leo has travelled extensively in the Middle East, South and Central Asia, including a seven-week bicycle ride between Europe and Jerusalem and a five-month overland journey from Istanbul to Kabul – mainly on horseback -which culminated in his participation in a match of the local horseback sport buzkashi.
Leo is an active member of the Conservative Party, is a Councillor on South Oxfordshire District Council and is on the Approved Parliamentary Candidates list. Leo is also a Council Member of Chatham House – The Royal Institute of International Affairs.
Leo provides the overall strategic direction of CMEC and manages the CMEC team.