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Two new non-executive board members appointed at Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

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Leena Nair and Nigel Boardman have been appointed as non-executive board members at BEIS.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark today (2 July) announced the appointment of Leena Nair and Nigel Boardman as non-executive board members at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Leena Nair, the Chief Human Resources Officer at Unilever, will chair for the BEIS Nominations and Governance Committee, whilst Nigel Boardman, a partner at Slaughter and May law firm, will chair for the BEIS Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said:

These appointments will add further extensive business experience to our excellent departmental board.

They will offer challenge and support to the department and ensure we are a truly business-facing organisation that is making a real impact on the UK economy.

Alex Chisholm, Permanent Secretary for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said:

I am delighted to welcome Leena Nair and Nigel Boardman to the board and look forward to working with them.

They will provide excellent stewardship to both the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee and the Nominations and Governance Committee, ensuring BEIS is on track to be one of the top departments in Whitehall for its assurance and people management.

Non-executive board members are experts from outside government who provide oversight and challenge to the department in the development of policy and the management of resources.

Leena Nair – Chief Human Resources Officer for Unilever

Leena is the first female, first Asian, youngest ever CHRO of Unilever and member of the Unilever Leadership Executive (ULE) which is responsible for delivering Unilever’s business financial performance and its ambitious environmental and positive social impact objectives. Ms. Nair bears overall responsibility for the human capital (160,000 people) for Unilever, which operates across multiple regulatory and labour environments spread over 190 countries.

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She has led the launch of technology innovations that have pioneered and transformed Unilever’s approach to the future of work in the connected world. Ms Nair was instrumental in driving their employer brand to a record high and in step-changing their Diversity agenda to industry leadership.

Nigel Boardman – Partner at Slaughter and May

Nigel Boardman has been a partner at Slaughter and May since 1982. His practice at the firm includes domestic and international corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, IPOs, demergers, private acquisitions and disposals, private equity, public takeovers, issues of compliance and corporate governance, investigations and insolvency, restructurings, investigations and sports law and art law. He is a Vice-President for Save the Children UK, Deputy Chair of the British Museum and a member of their Audit and Risk Committee. He has received several accolades in his professional career including, The Financial Times’ Special Achievement Award and the Lawyer of the Decade Award from Financial News.

The key responsibilities of non-executive board members are to:

  • Attend meetings of the departmental board, chaired by the Secretary of State
  • Advise on strategy, performance and transformation, operational issues and the effective management of the department
  • Provide independent scrutiny for the department upon request
  • Work with executives and their teams to continue to improve the performance of the department

The BEIS Audit and Risk Assurance Committee’s role is to support the Departmental Board and Accounting Officer in their responsibility to ensure that the Department is a financially sound and efficient organisation which makes effective use of its resources in pursuit of its strategic objectives. Specifically, the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee reviews the effectiveness of the risk management framework established by management to identify, assess and manage risk, thereby playing an important role in supporting our reputation for excellent financial and risk management.

The BEIS Nominations and Governance Committee’s role is to support the Departmental Board, by providing assurance and input to key decisions and processes. Its purpose is to scrutinise the Department’s strategies and plans for talent management; succession planning; capability building; Board appointments; senior performance management; incentives & rewards and the implementation of corporate governance policy.

These two appointments are in addition to the department’s five existing non-executive board members.

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