CIEH appoints Dr Phil James as its new Chief Executive

18 December 2020, Ross Matthewman

CIEH has confirmed that Dr Phil James will join in January 2021 as its new Chief Executive. Phil was most recently the Chief Executive of the Institute of Leadership & Management, a world-renowned specialist membership body that raises the professional standards of more than 30,000 leaders, managers, coaches and mentors. He had held this role since 2016 before leaving in July this year to complete his doctorate.

Prior to Phil's time there, he served as Group Chief Executive for the Mineral Products Qualification Council and Institute of Quarrying. He has also been Assistant Chief Executive for the British Association of Social Workers, a senior consultant for Hall Associates Europe LLP and Regional Director for the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) respectively. His early career saw him operate as a construction engineer for Alfred McAlpine Construction PLC and then as Quarry Manager for RMC Group PLC (now CEMEX).

Following the departure of previous chief executive Anne Godfrey at the end of May, the CIEH Board of Trustees used the summer to reflect, listen to members, take a measure of the impact of COVID-19 and develop its new corporate strategy for 2021-2023. The Executive Management Team has covered the day-to-day running of CIEH for that period and performed admirably in ensuring that it was ever-present for members during the pandemic.

Siraj Choudhury, outgoing Chair at CIEH said:

"We ran a robust process to secure the right person to lead CIEH in its current state and to take it forward through the uncertain times ahead. CIEH has been through 4 years of dramatic transformation but financial survival and sustainability remains the top priority for the Board. Without this, CIEH will not be here for its members. We were therefore looking for someone with commercial focus and the experience of running and improving membership bodies. The ability to connect and work with the environmental health network was also high on the list."

Phil James, incoming Chief Executive at CIEH said:

"I am absolutely delighted to be joining the CIEH with its long history and proud reputation. During the pandemic the importance and relevance of environmental health has been recognised and the profile of the profession has never been higher. I am acutely aware of the passion of CIEH members, the diversity of their technical skills and their desire to be well represented. I am very much looking forward to engaging with members as I work with the CIEH board and staff team to future-proof the CIEH and improve its offering to existing members and EH professionals coming through the ranks."

Terenja Humphries, incoming Chair at CIEH said:

"We know that many members would have liked to have seen an environmental health professional at the helm. Being led by one of its own can be the natural aspiration of many professional bodies and their members. On this occasion, we had to choose the most qualified and suitable person for the broad task in hand. That includes implementing the Board’s new strategy, achieving financial sustainability and keeping CIEH relevant to members. To ensure that CIEH has a credible voice and media presence across the technical disciplines, Phil will be committed to enabling and providing a platform for our members to show their knowledge and expertise. The Board, Executive Management Team and CIEH staff will be firmly behind Phil and are excited about what he will bring to the table."

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