Captain of industry returns to science ‘to help solve societal problems’
Business leader Paul Drechsler CBE, will become the next SCI (Society of Chemical Industry) President, succeeding Paul Booth CBE, who has held the current term since 2019. He will formally take over the new role at the SCI AGM in July.
Paul was President of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) from 2015–2018 and has been the Chair of business organisation London First since 2018. He is also Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) UK, as well as a Non-Executive Director of Greencore Plc and Independent Director of Schroder & Co Ltd. Previously, he served as Chairman of Bibby Line Group from 2014–2020, and Chair of Teach First from 2013–2019. Other experience includes joining construction firm Wates Group in 2004, becoming Chairman and Chief Executive from 2006–2014. He has also served on the Board of Trustees of Business in the Community.
‘This new position relates back to my original career ambition,’ said Paul. ‘I decided during my Engineering degree at Trinity College, Dublin, that I wanted to work in the Chemical Industry. I was always fascinated by how things work, in engineering as the science of problem solving and in science, as the means to solve so many of the world’s problems. That interest has continued to grow as the world’s problems such as global health have become even more complex – especially with the Covid-19 pandemic and escalating geo-political tensions.
‘I look forward to working with the SCI Advisory Council, the Chair and CEO Sharon Todd in developing a compelling strategy for the SCI’s next phase of growth’, he added, ‘so that we increase our impact and the benefit of scientific learning and application globally to benefit mankind’.
SCI CEO Sharon Todd said, ‘SCI is a global innovation hub and “the place where science meets business” so it is excellent to have someone with Paul’s international business and academic expertise and City reputation at the helm.’
Since graduating from Trinity College, Paul has worked across the chemical, plastics, food, flavours, industrials, construction, property, retail, distribution and financial services sectors. His career has included being Chief Executive of one of ICI’s key international businesses and serving as a main ICI board director from 1998–2003. He is Chancellor of Teesside University and a member of the Global Advisory Board of Trinity College, Dublin.
The SCI AGM will be held on 6 July 2022.
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