Baroness Manningham-Buller appointed as Honorary Advisor

Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller, a former Director General of the UK Security Service, MI5, and the first female Chair of the Wellcome Trust, has been appointed as an honorary advisor to the John Innes Centre’s Governing Council.

Eliza rose to public prominence as the Director General of MI5, in October 2002 and retired from the role in April 2007. She became Chair of the Wellcome Trust in 2015 and held the post until 2021.

Appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the Bath (DCB) in the 2005 Birthday Honours, she became a life peer in 2008 and sits on the non-party political cross benches in the House of Lords and has previously been a member of the Science and Technology Committee. In 2014, HM Queen Elizabeth II appointed her a Lady of the Garter.

Eliza is passionate about science and innovation, particularly in the areas of health care and food security, and is a champion for diversity, stating, “a lack of diversity deprives you of talent, perspective, and of different interpretations of looking at things.”

She begins advising the Governing Council in February 2023 and will work closely with its Chair, Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett, to guide the John Innes Centre and its programme of excellent and impactful research and innovation.

Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett, Chair of the Governing Council said: “The Governing Council of the John Innes Centre works to advise and steer the organisation in its endeavour to do plant and microbial science that has societal impact. I am thrilled that Eliza has agreed to work with us as an Honorary Advisor.”

Baroness Manningham-Buller said: “It is a privilege to become an advisor to the John Innes Centre. It is a world-leading research organisation with a great history of innovation, fundamental research and a dedication to inclusivity, inclusion and equality. I am excited by the prospect of working with the Director, the Governing Council and the wider research community in Norwich.”

Professor Graham Moore, Director of the John Innes Centre said: “We are delighted to welcome Eliza to the John Innes Centre. Her expertise, leadership and advice will provide valuable skills and support to our Governing Council in their role, and will benefit the community of researchers, students, support staff and technicians in Norwich.”

About the Governing Council

The John Innes Centre’s Governing Council is chaired by Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett and has responsibility for developing the long-term vision for the John Innes Centre. Alongside the director the Governing Council oversees and reviews the management and achievements of the institute, and is responsible for the management and administration of the John Innes Centre’s income and expenditure, assets and liabilities.

Find out more about the members of the John Innes Centre Governing Council on our website.