Plymouth campus

The University of Plymouth has appointed a leading expert in business, sustainability, and science and innovation as its next Chair of the Board of Governors and Pro-Chancellor.

Colin Drummond, OBE, DL, has been appointed following an extensive recruitment campaign, and brings with him 25 years of international Plc board experience at both Executive and Non-Executive Director level.

Until retirement last year, Colin was Chief Executive and then Chair of Viridor, one of the UK’s leading renewable energy and waste management companies. He has also chaired a variety of government and public sector bodies linking business, universities, and policy makers across environmental and water sectors. In particular, he chaired the UK’s Environmental Sustainability Knowledge Transfer Network; the Government’s Living With Environmental Change Business Advisory Board, and UKTI’s Water and Environment Sector Advisory Group. He is also Chair of Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.

Awarded an OBE for Services to Technology and Innovation in 2012, and recently appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Somerset, Colin has also worked in the Economic Intelligence Department of the Bank of England, as a consultant for The Boston Consulting Group; and a divisional chief executive in Coats Viyella. He is a former Harkness Fellow at Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration and Senior Visiting Research Fellow in the University of Oxford’s Earth Sciences Department, and is actively involved in fundraising to provide postgraduate bursaries for students who otherwise would not be able to continue their studies. 

Professor Judith Petts, CBE, Vice-Chancellor, said: 

“I am delighted that Colin has agreed to join us. He brings a wealth of relevant experience and I and the senior team are looking forward to working with him as we continue to build on the University’s strengths and qualities.” 

Colin Drummond, OBE, added: 

“It is a privilege and an honour to have been appointed Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Governors of the University of Plymouth. I look forward to working with the Vice-Chancellor and the whole team in giving our students the best possible foundation for their future lives through access to the highest quality research and teaching.”

Colin will take over from James Brent, Founder and Chairman of the Akkeron Group, Chairman of Plymouth Argyle Football Club and Chairman of the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, whose term ends on the 30 September. James originally agreed to serve as the Chair of the Board of Governors for one year, but agreed to extend this to oversee the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor and his own successor. The University is immensely grateful for James’ significant contribution to the Board.