UK Space Agency Deputy CEO to step down

UK Space Agency Deputy CEO to step down

Ian Annett Ian Annett, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the UK Space Agency, has announced he will leave his role and the Civil Service at the end of August, after more than three and a half years leading the delivery of UK national civil space programmes.

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Ian joined the UK Space Agency in January 2020 as Deputy CEO, and currently oversees the Agency’s three Missions and Capabilities directorates for Launch, Discovery and Sustainability and Earth Observation and Low Earth Orbit. He is Head of Profession for Project and Programme Delivery and oversees the Office of the Chief Engineer and the orbital regulations office, as well as chairing the UK Space Agency Delivery Board and sitting as a member of the Steering Board.

Minister of State at the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology George Freeman MP, said:

Our £17.5 billion space and satellite sector is driving investment across the UK and Ian’s leadership of national space programmes over recent years has been a fundamental part of this success. From making satellite launch from the UK a reality to putting UK science at the forefront of international space missions, Ian has been a superb advocate for this innovative and fast-growing sector.

Ian has been a strong supporter of diversity in the UK space sector, championing the Agency Women’s Network and using the power of space to inspire a new generation of professionals across the UK, supporting undergraduate and postgraduate space challenges, internships and schools-based projects that engage young people across the nation. He has also been a passionate advocate for the UK space sector and sustainability at both the national and international level.

During his time at the Agency, Ian has seen the UK space sector’s annual income grow by over £1 billion to £17.5 billion, and through Government support to manufacturing, science, space exploration and data exploitation, the sector has grown by 5000 employees to support almost 49,000 jobs. He led the national programme to bring the very first launch into space from European soil, turning new legislation into tangible reality, and the work to secure the largest budget award for the UK Space Agency, of £1.8 billion over the three years covered by current spending review period.

Before joining the UK Space Agency, Ian served in the Royal Navy as a weapons and communications specialist where he was the Programme Director to the Skynet 6 programme, a Senior Responsible Officer for maritime Information Warfare programmes and the Chief Information Officer for the Royal Navy.

Ian Annett said:

It has been an incredible experience at the UK Space Agency but now is the right time for me to move on. It has been immensely rewarding to be at the heart of connecting the public and private sector in this unique position, bringing my experience of delivery of civil, military and commercial space capability. I leave in the knowledge that the Agency continues to grow in stature, with strong leadership, delivery capability and a portfolio of programmes that will benefit the UK’s thriving space sector, our planet and its people.

It has been a privilege to be part of a team during what I consider to be the most exciting time in space for the last 50 years, and I know the Agency is in good hands for its next chapter.

Dr Paul Bate, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, said:

Ian is an authentic and expert leader in the UK space sector, who I hold in high esteem and who is greatly valued by colleagues across the Agency and beyond. The sadness I feel at his decision to move on from the Civil Service is balanced however by knowing that this is the right next step for Ian, and by my confidence that he will have a continued positive impact on public service as he turns his hand to the next phase of his journey.

From the incredible resilience and can-do approach he displayed in successfully overcoming each obstacle to launch from Cornwall in January, to his continued championing of the importance of dual-use space technologies and of inspiring the next generation, Ian has been behind the Agency’s delivery programme for the last three years.

On a personal note, I am deeply grateful for the support and colleagueship that Ian has shown me, and I wish him every success in the future.

Recruitment for Ian’s successor will begin in due course.

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