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New board created for British Geological Survey

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National Environment Research Council and BGS announce make-up of the first BGS board

THE British Geological Survey (BGS) board has been created to assist the organization in meeting future challenges and ensure it continues as a world-leading survey, delivering services and providing infrastructure support nationally and globally.

The chair and board will work closely with the BGS director and the National Environment Research Council (NERC) chief executive to shape BGS’s future. NERC and BGS chair Sir Keith O’Nions have appointed a high-quality board of non-executive directors to provide support in shaping the organization’s strategy and business plans, which will allow BGS to deliver its mission, manage commercial risk and diversify its funding.


Sir Keith O’Nions said: ‘I am delighted to announce the make-up of the first BGS board. I am very pleased that we have attracted a high-calibre and diverse range of people who will, by bringing their specific skills and experience, enhance the strong reputation of the British Geological Survey.

‘I look forward to working with my new board and all of those at BGS to build on the fine history and experience of BGS, the wider geoscience community and NERC to ensure a collaborative and coherent approach to maximize BGS’s future capability and capacity.’

The new board members are:

  • Sir Keith O’Nions (chair)
  • Sir Michael Dixon (director, Natural History Museum)
  • Dr Donna Kirkwood (chief scientist, Natural Resources Canada)
  • Olivier Peyret (chairman and chief executive officer, Schlumberger France)
  • Joanne Wilson (vice-president corporate and UK company controller, Shell International)
  • David Simpson (council member, Cardiff University)
  • Professor Richard Williams OBE (vice-chancellor and principal, Heriot-Watt University)
  • Paul Fox (chief operating officer, NERC)
  • Professor John Ludden CBE (executive director, BGS)
  • Dr Mike Patterson (chief operating officer, BGS).

Professor Duncan Wingham, NERC chief executive and executive chair designate, said: ‘I welcome this array of talent to the BGS board and am confident it will provide the leadership and challenge needed to ensure BGS continues to punch above its weight to the benefit of us all, both in the UK and internationally. I look forward to working with Sir Keith and BGS board members to sustain BGS’s role as a world-class survey.’

NERC and BGS have agreed that BGS will operate at arm’s length from NERC, with a structure that mirrors that of a wholly owned incorporated subsidiary within the single legal entity. From 1 April 2018, that legal entity will be UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Professor John Ludden, executive director of BGS, said: ‘I am delighted to welcome the new board members to BGS. The addition of this first board will bring challenge and insight to help push BGS to further develop its role as a world-class survey, bring new ideas to assist us to continue to diversify, and ensure we remain at the forefront of new ways of working for the benefit of government, business and the wider public.’


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