Alan Lovell has been appointed chair of the Environment Agency, where he will take up the reins in September following the departure of outgoing chair Emma Howard Boyd, the government announced yesterday.
Lovell has spent much of his career in business, having served as CEO or chair at a number of leading businesses, primarily in the construction and infrastructure sectors. He is currently chairman of construction company Interserve Group, a senior independent director of insulation supplier SIG plc, and chair of double glazing firm Safestyle UK.
Lovell has been chief executive of six companies, including construction and civil engineering group Jarvis and sports brand Dunlop Slazenger.
He also Lovell previously chaired the Consumer Council for Water for four years and has chaired the University of Winchester and the Mary Rose Trust.
Lovell said it was a “privilege” to be appointed to a role where he could “try to make a difference”.
“This is a vital organisation, full of excellent committed people striving to do their best for the nation’s flood defences, for the environment as a whole, and in the battle against climate change,” he said in a.
Lovell will take up the post on 26 September, shortly after Howard Boyd steps down following the completion of her second term as chair, bringing to an end six years at the head of the regulator.
“I am delighted to welcome Alan as the next chair of the Environment Agency,” she said. “He brings a wealth of experience from his time in business and his time as chair of the Consumer Council for Water.”
Howard Boyd also added that it had been a “privilege” to chair the Environment Agency, which she described as “a fantastic organization of committed public servants who save lives, protect nature and support business”.
Lovell’s appointment was announced yesterday by Environment Secretary George Eustice, following a report, investigation, and public committee hearing looking into Lovell’s suitability for the role.
“Alan will bring a wide range of experience, enthusiasm and leadership to the role and I am delighted he will be the next chair of the Environment Agency,” Eustice said. “His knowledge and experience will be a real asset as we work together to improve and enhance the natural environment.”
The Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) said Lovell’s selection had followed a rigorous process conducted in accordance with the Ministerial Governance Code on Public Appointments.
Lovell’s experience of the water industry is likely to be drawn upon with near immediate impact, as the watchdog continues its efforts to crack down on unacceptable levels of pollution across the sector.