Mr John Neilson has accepted appointment as College Secretary and Registrar with effect from 1 May 2012. As a member of the Management Board, and reporting to the Rector, he will have overall responsibility for the Registry and the Central Secretariat, and functions including health and safety, risk management, internal audit, and legal matters. He will also be Clerk to the Imperial College Court and Council.
Dr Rodney Eastwood, who has been College Secretary since 2007, will be retiring from the College in April, after almost 25 years service.
Mr Neilson will join the College from the Ministry of Defence, where he is Director, Financial Management. As part of this role he is a non-executive director of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and the Met Office.
Mr Neilson’s experience in government spans thirty years. After reading mathematics and engineering at Cambridge, he joined the Department of Energy where he worked on the privatisation of several industries, including gas and electricity. He went on to work in the Economic Secretariat of the Cabinet Office, before becoming Principal Private Secretary to John Wakeham when he was Energy Secretary.
In the 1990s he led Department of Trade and Industry teams advising on policy areas including telecommunications, aerospace and defence, before becoming an executive board member of the gas and electricity regulator Ofgem. From 2005 until 2011 he was Director, Research Base in the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and its predecessors.