As a registered charity, The Pirbright Institute is governed by a Board of non-executive Trustee Directors. The Institute has appointed four new Trustees for 2021: Rona Chester, Emma Griffin, Alison Hardy, and Dr Paul Logan.
Pirbright also bids a fond farewell to Sir Bertie Ross, who will leave his Trustee position on 31 March. Sir Bertie joined the Trustee Board in 2013 and his contribution has been invaluable throughout his eight years’ service.
The new Trustees bring with them a wealth of experience from their respective industries with specialisms in financial regulation, cyber security, the legal sector, and risk and safety.
Rona Chester is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants with nearly 40 years’ experience in leading financial teams in both the public and private sector. During her early career Rona worked in international finance managing the Finance and Treasury teams for an oil and gas shipping business followed by roles at Sotheby’s as their European Finance Director and Ofcom, the newly formed communications regulator. More recently Rona was the Chief Operating Officer at Sport England where additional responsibilities included grants management, Commercial and IT as well as contributing to the development of the organisation’s strategy.
Dr Paul Logan was a Senior Civil Servant in the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prior to his retirement in 2020. During his time with the HSE, in addition to chairing a number of committees, he represented the UK on a European Medicines Agency working group on Gene Therapy and on a World Health Organization group developing guidelines for the manufacture of pandemic flu vaccines. In his final post he was Director of the HSE’s division with responsibility for regulation of major hazard industries, including chemical manufacturing, oil refineries, explosives manufacture and storage, and high containment laboratories.
Alison Hardy is a solicitor and partner with City law firm Ashurst LLP where she leads the real estate dispute resolution practice. She is the HR partner for the dispute resolution practice at Ashurst, which involves overseeing the recruitment and retention of talent and the appraisal, review and remuneration systems for the department. She is a member of the RICS Dilapidations Forum and is chairing the UK RICS dilapidations conference in 2021. Alison is actively involved in diversity and inclusion and is the partner sponsor of Ashurst's Social Mobility and Inclusion network, which is working to remove barriers to entry into and progression within the legal profession.
Emma Griffin has more than 25 years of experience in cyber security, technology, and regulatory compliance. A trusted advisor to senior leadership, risk and audit committees, and company boards due to her experience in data protection, cloud, infrastructure and application security, preventing business disruption, cyber fraud and intellectual property theft. She participates on several advisory boards to influence and drive cyber security development and solution innovation and regularly participates in industry and regulatory forums as an advisor and speaker. Emma is actively involved in promoting diversity and inclusion and seeks to encourage careers in science and technology to minority groups.
In welcoming the new Trustees, eleven people now make up the Institute’s Board, each of whom volunteer their time and expertise to ensure good governance and help plan and execute the Institute’s Science Strategy in conjunction with the Institute Director, Prof Bryan Charleston.