Lord Browne appointed Chair of the Francis Crick Institute

06 July 2017

Lord Browne of Madingley

Lord Browne of Madingley, the former BP chief executive, is to become the Chairman of the Francis Crick Institute from 1 August.

The Crick is a biomedical discovery institute which carries out research to understand the biology underlying health and disease. In 2016 it moved into a new state-of-the-art building in central London. With 1500 scientists and support staff working across disciplines, it is the biggest biomedical research facility under a single roof in Europe.

Lord Browne will succeed Sir David Cooksey, who is retiring after chairing the organisation for over nine years and seeing the Crick through its formation, construction, and the opening of its doors last year. Sir David's independent review in 2006 of health research funding in the UK was a stimulus for the founding of the Crick.

Lord Browne will be appointed as Chairman of the Crick's Board of Trustees for an expected period of seven years. The Trustee board comprises five independent trustees including the Chair and six trustees nominated by the Crick's founding partners - the Medical Research Council (MRC), Cancer Research UK, Wellcome, UCL (University College London), Imperial College London and King's College London.

Lord Browne was chief executive of BP from 1995 to 2007 and is a former President of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He steps down as Chairman of the Tate galleries this summer after ten years as a Trustee, and will serve as Chairman of the Courtauld Institute of Art from September 2017. He sits as a crossbench member of the House of Lords, was the government's lead non-executive director from 2010 to 2015, and chaired the committee which published the 'Browne Review' on higher education funding and student finance in 2010.

He is currently Executive Chairman of L1 Energy and Chairman of Huawei Technologies (UK), and is a member of the boards of a number of other private and not-for-profit organisations.

"I am looking forward immensely to working with the Crick. The institute has ambitious goals in pursuing research excellence, in training future science leaders and innovating new treatments for diseases that benefit us all. The UK has long-standing strengths in research and I want the Crick to help drive that forward," said Lord Browne.

"I am delighted that Lord Browne will be the next Chair of the Francis Crick Institute. His is an outstanding appointment and will enable the Crick to make the most of its scientists and facilities, and establish itself as a world-class institute at the forefront of research," said Philip Yea, an independent member of the Crick Board of Trustees who led the appointment process.

"Sir David Cooksey has played an instrumental role in making the Crick a reality and I can't thank him enough for his contributions. His vision for making the most of the UK's strengths in biomedical research was a stimulus for setting up the Crick. Then with great skill he brought together the right people and oversaw the complex process of establishing and constructing a research institute fit and ready to realise that vision. I also very much look forward to working with Lord Browne as Chairman of the Crick," said Sir Paul Nurse, Director of the Francis Crick Institute.

  • Lord Browne is to become the Chairman of the Francis Crick Institute on 1 August, succeeding Sir David Cooksey.
  • Lord Browne was chief executive of BP from 1995 to 2007 and is a former President of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He steps down as Chairman of the Tate this summer and will serve as Chairman of the Courtauld Institute of Art from September.