Press Release

New chief executive of the UK Space Agency appointed

By SpaceRef Editor
January 30, 2013
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New chief executive of the UK Space Agency appointed

Dr. David Parker has been appointed as the next Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency. He has been acting Chief Executive of the agency since December 2012, and will take up the role with immediate effect.

Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts said:

I’m delighted to welcome David Parker as the next Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency. He has been part of the agency since its creation and most recently played a leading role in securing #1.2 billion of UK investment at the European Space Agency’s Council of Ministers.

His extensive experience of government and industry will be vital in realising our ambition for the continued growth of the UK space sector.

Dr. Parker said:

I am extremely proud to accept this position. The last two years have proved what we can accomplish in space through collaboration and targeted investment. Britain is working together for a remarkable future in space, and at the UK Space Agency, we are leading the way.

Rob Douglas, Chair of the UK Space Agency Steering Board said:

David has been part of the UK Space Agency since it was founded in 2010, and he understands well the ambitions of the UK space sector. I am confident he will be able to balance the scientific, industrial and public sector interests so that we can continue and build on the successes of the last two years.

Notes to editors:

Dr. David Parker has been involved in the UK space sector since 1990 having completed a PhD in aeronautics and astronautics at Southampton University. He has worked in British Aerospace Space Systems as a propulsion and guidance, navigation and control (GNC) engineer and later in management and business development roles in EADS Astrium. He was seconded to the UK Space Agency’s predecessor, the British National Space Centre, between 1997 and 1999 to lead its space innovation projects. Between 2004 and 2010, he worked at the UK’s science funding council for space science. He currently is the UK’s acting Head of Delegation to the European Space Agency, Chair of its Programme Board for Human Spaceflight, Microgravity and Exploration. He co-authored the Global Exploration Strategy Framework Document in 2007 which led to the creation of International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG).

Dr. David Parker was selected following a fair and open competition using the Civil Service Commissioners recruitment rules. Saxton Bampfyldes were appointed as executive search consultants and the post was advertised in the Sunday Times online and on the Civil Service Gateway. The selection panel was chaired by Peter Blausten a Civil Service Commissioner. The other panel members were Rob Douglas, Chair of the UK Space Agency Steering Board, Sally Cantello, Member of the UK Space Agency Steering Board, John Alty, Director General Knowledge & Innovation, BIS and Ruy Pinto, Chief Technology Office, Inmarsat.

The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:

To create the most competitive tax system in the G20
To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

SpaceRef staff editor.