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Department for International Trade (Non-executive Board Members)

Volume 617: debated on Thursday 17 November 2016

I wish to update the House on the appointment of non-executive board members (NEBMs) at the Department for International Trade.

I am pleased to announce to the House that three independent NEBMs have been appointed to sit on our departmental board. A further NEBM has been appointed as chair of the board for UK Export Finance, who will also sit on our departmental board.

Those NEBMs are:

Mr Simon Walker, outgoing director-general of the Institute of Directors, as lead non-executive board member and also chair of the Nominations Committee.

Ms Julie Currie, chief financial and reporting officer at the Lloyds Bank Foundation, who alongside her duties as a non-executive board member will chair the Audit and Risk Committee.

Dr Pippa Malmgren, founder of DRPM Group, a respected political analyst with trade policy experience who will act as a non-executive board member.

Ms Noel Harwerth, current chair of GE Capital Bank Europe, who will join the UK Export Finance Board as chair, and will also be a NEBM on the DIT departmental board.

This is a significant milestone for our Department and I am proud of the talent and expertise represented on the board. Our NEBMs’ extensive business knowledge and experience of global trade and corporate governance will be of huge value to me and the Government as we shape the Department and forge the UK’s trade agenda and promote the UK as a place to do business with.

The new board members will work closely with me, my ministerial team and the executive team to provide independent scrutiny and advice and to assist the Department in delivering our priorities, which include an effective long-term strategy for the UK’s trade policy; promotion of UK exports; inward and outward investment; take-up of UK export finance; and promotion of the UK through the GREAT campaign. They will also advise on performance and the effective management of the Department.

These appointments come at the end of a highly competitive process. We launched our search for NEBMs in July through advertisements on the Centre for Public Appointments and Women on Boards websites. We received 181 applications, including exceptionally well-qualified individuals from a wide range of backgrounds, demonstrating the high level of interest there is in international trade.