UK National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority and former Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of Aberdeen
Until 2018 Sir Ian was the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen. Before this he was Chief Executive Officer of the Economic and Social Research Council (EPSRC). He was also Chair of the Research Councils UK Executive Group. He took up his present role in October 2019.
Sir Ian is an economist and statistician by academic background. He has experience of advising governments across the UK. He has:
- reviewed University finance in Wales for the Welsh Government (the Diamond Review) in 2016
- reviewed efficiency and effectiveness in higher education for Universities UK
- conducted extensive research in low income countries
He was knighted in the 2013 New Year’s Honours for services to social science and higher education.
After leaving Aberdeen, he became Chair of charity Plan International, standing down in late 2020. He is a former Chair of British Universities and Colleges Sport (and a qualified football referee). He is also a former Chair of Edinburgh College of Further Education. He holds a number of other non-executive positions including being a Board Member at Aberystwyth University and Deputy Chair and Chair of the Audit Committee, Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). He took the Chair of the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) from August 2018 until 2019.
He was appointed as the UK National Statistician and Head of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in August 2019.