John Neilson

John Neilson became College Secretary of Imperial College London in May 2012. He is a member of the College’s Council and President's Board and Provost's Board, and he has specific responsibilities for governance, risk management, health & safety and internal audit, and for developing links with Government and funding bodies.

After reading mathematics at Cambridge, John Neilson joined the Department of Energy where he worked on several privatisations, including gas and electricity.  In the late 1980s he worked in the Economic Secretariat of the Cabinet Office, before becoming Principal Private Secretary to John Wakeham when he was Energy Secretary.  In the 1990s he led the Department of Trade and Industry teams advising on telecommunications and then aerospace & defence, before becoming an executive board member of the gas and electricity regulator Ofgem. From 2005 until 2011 he was Director, Research Base in the Department for Business Innovation & Skills and its predecessors, where he advised on the £6 billion spent annually on public research in universities and institutes. He sat on five Research Councils. His final civil service post before joining Imperial College was as Director of Financial Management in the Ministry of Defence, which included his being a non-executive director of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and the Met Office.