Chair, Plan International UK and former Principal & 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), as well as being Chair of the Research Councils UK Executive Group.
An economist and statistician by academic background, Sir Ian has experience of advising governments across the UK. Most recently, he reviewed University finance in Wales for the Welsh Government (‘the Diamond Review’). Previously he reviewed efficiency and effectiveness in higher education for Universities UK and he has 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.
He is Chair of British Universities and Colleges Sport (and a qualified Football referee), Chair of Edinburgh College of Further Education and a board member of UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) with 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 has taken the Chair of the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) from August 2018.