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Image of the Week: New Chair Eliza Manningham-Buller

2 Oct, 2015

Eliza Manningham-BullerOur image of the week this week is a rather special one since it marks the end of an era – and the beginning of a new one – at the Trust.

On one hand, we wish a fond farewell to Sir Bill Castell, Wellcome Trust Chair for the past 10 years, who has now officially retired from the Trust, and on the other, we extend a welcome to Baroness Manningham-Buller, who takes over as the new Chair of the Board of Governors.

During Bill’s decade at the Trust, his positive influence, humour, and challenge for us to be braver, was widely felt. He championed the view that all research outputs should be made freely available to all, and played a key role in ensuring that the Trust became the first research funder in the world to introduce a mandatory open access policy.

Bill was particularly engaged with the Trust’s efforts to improve science education, and this did not just improve our thinking, but brought tangible benefits, as Hilary Leevers, Head of Education and Learning explains. “Bill’s commitment to enabling teachers and technicians to participate in funded professional development at the National Science Learning Centre led him to forge a unique partnership across government, industry and the Trust”. The result of this – Project ENTHUSE – continues to embrace new organisations, and almost £50 million has been committed to it. “This investment has had a measurable impact on the educators themselves, and, most importantly, upon their students” she says.

The image above captures something of the spirit of Bill’s leaving party at Trust HQ. Bill shared memories of his time at the Trust and was presented with a special Wellcome medal in thanks for his work. With Eliza in attendance at the party, the metaphorical baton was passed.

Joining us, she said: “I am delighted to be starting as Chair of the Wellcome Trust. After a happy and fulfilling career in MI5, I did not expect to have such an interesting job again”.

“I feel immensely lucky to have joined the Board of Governors in 2008, and now to become Chair. The Trust’s power to do so much good in the world makes it a rewarding place to work. And I am really looking forward to making our ambitious plans succeed which I am sure, with your help, they will.”

We hope you will join us in thanking Bill, welcoming Eliza to her new post, and taking the Wellcome Trust to new levels.

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