Ulster Unionist Party
Member of the Legislative Assembly, South Antrim (2016)
Chair, Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Finance
Dr Steve Aiken OBE has served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly for South Antrim since 2016 for the Ulster Unionist Party. He is the Chair of the Finance Committee, and Chairs the All Party Group for STEM and the All Party Group for Ethnic Minorities. He is an active member of the British Irish Parliamentary Association. Past roles include UUP Party Leader (2019–2021) and UUP Chief Whip (2017-2019).
Steve comes from a wide background of business and government service, and his overriding interest is to do what is best for all of the people of Northern Ireland. Following a thirty-year career in the Royal Navy where he served in many senior operational roles including commanding two nuclear powered submarines, being Joint Plans Officer for operations in the Middle-East in 2002-04 (for which he was awarded the OBE and the US Meritorious Service Medal), and working as a senior staff officer in various NATO maritime operational headquarters.
Steve also headed up the UK MoD’s Global Strategic Trends programme and worked on the UK and NATO’s security strategy, as well as co-authored classified studies on European Security, the High North and was a lead author on the Future Character of Conflict study - a study which critically examined the role of western military power, hybrid and asymmetric conflict and predicting the extensive use of non-state actors and modern social media in the spectrum of conflict.
Steve was the founding Chief Executive of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce (Dublin) and a CEO at a major University. Steve holds a PhD and MPhil in International Relations from the University of Cambridge (Queens’ College) and a MA from King's College London in Defence Studies. His love of learning began in South Antrim at Thompson Primary School Ballyrobert and continued at Belfast High School and The Open University.
A keen Tweeter (and Retweeter, for which he has received acclaim), Steve thrives in person (and via social media) on seeing and progressing positive change across Northern Ireland. He works hard to make real impact, particularly across South Antrim where he lives with Beth and their daughters. Steve remains active in the community as a Governor at Kilbride Central Primary School, Select Vestry member of St Bride's Parish Church, and voluntary board member for Christian Aid Ireland.
Spare time pursuits include hillwalking, reading, travel, history and beaming with pride over his first grandson.