Sir Stephen O’Brien named as new DIT Board member

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Following an open and competitive recruitment process, the Department for International Trade (DIT) has appointed Sir Stephen O’Brien as a Non-Executive Board Member for a three-year term from June 2019.

Sir Stephen’s experience as a former International Development Minister and more recently as the United Nations’ Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs will complement the Board’s existing and extensive business experience as DIT advances trade and development initiatives to grow developing economies sustainably through trade.

Julie Currie and Lead Non-Executive Board Member Simon Walker’s terms of office, which were due to end in November, have been renewed for a further three years.

Welcoming Sir Stephen’s appointment, International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP said:

I am delighted to welcome Sir Stephen to the DIT Board. His expertise in leading development and humanitarian programmes in government and in the United Nations is a vital addition to the team as we grow our role in providing official development assistance through trade.

In the last 25 years, free trade has increased prosperity, lifting a billion people out of poverty. That prosperity is the basis for social stability, which in turn provides political stability – underpinning our global security.

I am very grateful to Dr Pippa Malmgren for her exceptional hard work and service to DIT over the last few years. I wish her well in her business venture.

My thanks also go to Julie Currie and Simon Walker, who play a pivotal role in the DIT Board, and I look forward to continue working with them.

Sir Stephen O’Brien said:

I am delighted that the Secretary of State has decided to appoint me to the Board and greatly look forward to working with them.

The Board is the senior governance forum providing leadership for DIT’s business. It is chaired by the Secretary of State.

Sir Stephen O'Brien and Dr Liam Fox MP


Notes to editors

Biography: The Rt Hon Sir Stephen O’Brien KBE

Sir Stephen O’Brien has significant international and UK legal, industrial, business (executive and non-executive) and political experience, as well as relevant development experience. He served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development from 2010 – 2012. Most recently, he was the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. He is currently Chairman of Motability Operations Group PLC and Vice-Chairman of Savannah Petroleum PLC.

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