CECAN Advisory Board Members & Biographies
We are privileged to have the following people as members of the CECAN Advisory Board, who meet twice per year to discuss and advise on CECAN's evolving agenda and position the Centre effectively within the wider context of UK policy and evaluation.
Siobhan Campbell – DfT Head of Central Research Team and Deputy Chief Scientific Advisor
Siobhan Campbell is head of DfT’s Central Research Team and Deputy Chief Scientific Advisor, a role that covers responsibility for evaluation and social research as well as operational research and science. Her interests in this role are to create strong interdisciplinary working and improve the impact of DfT’s analytical work. She is also chair of the Cross Government Evaluation Group, a cross-departmental and cross-disciplinary group which aims to improve the supply of, stimulate demand for, and encourage the use of, good quality evaluation in government decision making. Prior to joining DfT in May 2016 she was responsible for policy evaluation in DECC, where she build the evaluation function and was one of the team responsible for working with the ESRC and NERC that led to the establishment of CECAN. Siobhan has also worked as deputy head of the Government Social Research Unit based in HM Treasury, leading on joining up and coordinating the work of the different analytical professions and on the development of a series of initiatives to increase the professionalism of GSR; as head of criminal justice research within the Scottish Government; and in a number of different research roles within the Home Office. She has a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Glasgow.
Penny Hawkins - Head of Evaluation, DFID
Penny Hawkins is an evaluation specialist with extensive experience in public policy and international development evaluation and is the current Head of Evaluation at the UK Department of International Development (DFID). Previously she worked at The Rockefeller Foundation headquarters in New York helping them to develop their evaluation function. Over the past two decades Penny has held a number of evaluation leadership roles in the government sector including as Head of Evaluation for New Zealand Aid at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and a similar role in the Ministry of Social Development in New Zealand. Her academic background spans psychology, information technology and evaluation. From 2003–13 she was a faculty member for the International Program for Development Evaluation Training summer school at Carleton University in Canada. Penny is the current Chair of the OECD-DAC Network on Development Evaluation and a past President and Fellow of the Australasian Evaluation Society. She has contributed to a number of evaluation publications including co-editing the book Evaluation Cultures – Sense Making in Complex Times, Transaction (2012), and as author of a chapter in Enhancing Evaluation Use, Sage (2014). Penny's longstanding commitment to the evaluation profession stems from her continuing optimism that evaluation makes a positive contribution to world development and human wellbeing.
Ann Humble - Welsh Government
I am the Head of Land Use and Soil Policy Branch in the Envrionment Department in the Welsh Government. My branch is a technical branch, advising on and providing scientific evidence for a range of policy teams working in the Agriculture and environmental sphere, although getting increasing involved in business and economy policy. To gather evidence, we work with Universities and research institutions to understand the latest scientific research in land management, commission reports and monitoring and evaluation programmes, including the GMEP programme. In turn we sit on a number of research platform steering groups and work with Research Councils and Defra on communicating welsh policy research needs in the Agriculture and Envrionment area. I have an agri-environment background having run the Welsh agri-environment scheme, Tir Gofal, and designed and implemented its successor scheme Glastir Advanced. My particular interests are in water catchment management for water quality and quantity, soil management and the links through to businesses, industry and communities. All trying to move towards understanding what does sustainable management of natural resources look like on the ground. I also have the lead for developing PES in Wales. I am based in West Wales and try and get out to enjoy our natural resources as much as possible.
Gary Kass - Deputy Chief Scientist, Natural England
Gary Kass is an environmental scientist and policy adviser who started his career in the private sector before joining the public sector in 1995 as head of the environment and energy programme at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology. In 2004, Gary worked as a policy-maker in the Science and Society Directorate of the Office of Science and Innovation in the (then) DTI where he led a programme to engage members of the public in constructive dialogue on new and emerging areas of science and technology. Gary joined Natural England in 2007 and is now Deputy Chief Scientist and Principal Specialist in Strategic Futures. He helps drive leadership in science and evidence across the organisation and leads a programme of futures-oriented analysis and synthesis on a range of issues that could affect the future of England’s natural environment. Gary has played key roles in the National Ecosystem Assessment and the formulation of the Natural Environment White Paper. He is currently a member of the scientific review group for the European Nature Outlook project. Gary is currently on secondment to Defra in the role of Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser, where he leads the team delivering a comprehensive programme of activities to enable the department to access the evidence, expertise and scientific advice it needs to support policy development and delivery. Gary is a Chartered Scientist, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and Fellow and Vice-Chair the Institution of Environmental Sciences.
Michael Kell - Chief Economist, NAO
Michael Kell has been Chief Economist at the NAO since 2010, with responsibility for developing the NAO’s analytical capability. Since 2015 he also leads the NAO’s Value for Money work on DECC. He led the NAO’s report “Evaluation in Government” which was published in 2013. He is a Visiting Professor at the College of Europe, and a member of the Advisory Boards for the Centre for Economic Performance based at the LSE, and the Centre for Social Investigation based at Nuffield College Oxford. His previous experience includes 2 years as a Director in the Economic Consulting Group at Deloitte, 5 years as Director of Analytical Services in DCLG, 6 years as a Senior Economist at the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC, and working as an economist in HM Treasury and at the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
Liam Kelly, Scottish Government
Liam Kelly is currently Head of the Research Sponsorship and Business Unit within the Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division of the Scottish Government. This Unit helps to manage a budget of around £60m p.a., sponsoring the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, funding multidisciplinary programmes of research relevant to Scotland’s environment, rural industries and communities, as well as supporting policy-led research. Liam has worked in a variety of policy areas including the water environment, climate change and energy. Prior to joining the Scottish Government, he was a researcher and lecturer at Heriot-Watt, Coimbra and Stirling Universities, where he undertook a range of research projects primarily focussed on the environmental impacts of aquaculture.
Ronan Palmer - Director of Strategy & Planning, Ofwat
Ronan Palmer is a Director, Strategy & Planning, at Ofwat. Prior to joining Ofwat in November 2015 he was Chief Economist to the Environment Agency. Previously he had been a regulatory economist for the newly privatised National Grid Company from 1991, and worked in the UK's Department of Environment on water privatisation and policy appraisal. He has a degree in Philosophy and Economics from University College Dublin.
Elizabeth Robin - President of UK Evaluation Society
Elizabeth was Head of Evaluation Capacity and Quality Group in the Department for International Development (DFID). The Group’s remit was to set the standards for evaluation in DFID; provide support processes, guidance and training for staff to achieve those standards; and quality assure evaluation products. The Group also worked to develop evaluation capacity in partner countries and Elizabeth was a member (and acted as Chair) of the Board of the CLEAR Initiative, a multi-donor trust fund for developing regional centres of excellence in evaluation and results. She was involved in refreshing DFID’s Evaluation Policy to reflect the embedding evaluation agenda in the Department following the establishment of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact.Elizabeth was Head of Profession for Evaluation in DFID and managed the professional development of around 140 staff who were accredited as evaluation specialists. She organised the accreditation process based on DFID’s evaluation technical competency framework.
Elizabeth was with DFID/ODA for over 20 years as a senior statistics adviser and has experience of collating and reporting information on DFID’s activities for a variety of audiences in the UK and internationally. She actively promoted the need for robust evidence as a basis for decision-making and her role in the Evaluation Department allowed her to develop the capacity of both DFID and partner staff to do more and better evaluation work in the field of international development. Following her retirement in 2013, she has been heavily involved in the work of the UK Evaluation Society and is currently President.
Jamie Saunders - Strategy & Engagement Officer, City of Bradford District Council
Jamie Saunders works in the Chief Executive’s Office working in policy/strategy/governance and corporate leadership support in a large Northern Local Authority. Over the last 24 years, Jamie has also worked in environment management and organisational and municipality sustainability. Current work includes supporting leadership in organisational and civic transformation (with the significant contraction and reshaping of the local state), multi-tier governance, regeneration and devolution policy and practicalities. He is currently working with University of Bradford on strategic research partnering – sustainable societies focus. He has a BSc (Hons) Environmental Science and Geography from University of Bradford and an MA in Foresight & Futures Studies. His futures work has included contributions to organisational, local government and community foresight, strategic thinking and future generations orientated developments including the Local Government Association Futures Toolkit. He has been a trustee and former Chairman of the Permaculture Association (Britain) a sustainable design educational and research charity, and remains an adviser to the organisation.
Elliot Stern - University of Bristol
Elliot Stern is Emeritus Professor of Evaluation Research at Lancaster University and visiting Fellow in the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies at Bristol University. He edits the journal Evaluation: the international journal of theory, research and practice, currently the top-rated evaluation journal internationally. Elliot is past President of both the UK and European Evaluation Society and a Fellow and until recently a Council member of the UK Academy of Social Sciences. Elliot is a practicing evaluator mainly working in advisory roles on evaluation design and methodology. He works at present with DECC and partners on a number of energy, heat and decarbonisation projects. Much of his work is international presently involving OECD, the European Commission (DG Regional and Urban Policy); and UNDP. He has also worked with DFID on impact evaluation in complex international development settings.
Jim Watson - Research Director, UKERC
Jim Watson is Director of the UK Energy Research Centre and a Professor of Energy Policy at the University of Sussex. He was previously Director of the Sussex Energy Group at Sussex (2008-13). Jim has a first degree in engineering from Imperial College London and a PhD in science and technology policy from Sussex. He has 20 years’ research experience on climate change, energy and innovation policy. His recent outputs include co-edited books: New Challenges in Energy Security: The UK in a multipolar world (Palgrave, 2013; with Catherine Mitchell) and Global Energy: Issues, Potentials and Policy Implications (Oxford University Press, 2015; with Paul Ekins and Mike Bradshaw). Professor Watson frequently advises UK government departments and other organisations. He was an advisor to the Government Office for Science for a Foresight project on energy and the built environment (2007-08). He has also been a specialist adviser to three UK Parliamentary select committees including, most recently, the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee on electricity infrastructure resilience (2014/15). His international experience includes a period as a visiting scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2008 and ten years of collaborative research on energy in China. He was member of the DECC and Defra social science expert panel (2012-16) and is a member of DECC’s Fossil Fuel Price Projections Expert Panel. He is a Council Member of the British Institute of Energy Economics, and a judge for the Queens Awards.
Sarah Whatmore - Professor of Environment and Public Policy, Oxford University
Sarah is an elected Fellow of the British Academy, the Academy of Social Sciences and the Royal Geographical Society(with the Institute of British Geographers). She is an appointed member of the Defra Science Advisory Council (SAC) (2015-17) having previously served as a member the Defra/DECC Social Science Expert Panel 2012-2015. She is currently an editor of Environment and Planning, A (Pion) and an editorial board member of Environmental Humanities. She is a graduate of University College London (BA, MPhil and PhD) and before joining the University of Oxford, she taught at the University of Bristol (1989-2001) and the Open University (2001-2004). Her research focuses on cultures of nature and interrogates the ways in which human relations with the natural world are imagined and practiced in the conduct of science, governance and everyday life. She has published widely on the theoretical and political implications of these questions and is an acknowledged pioneer in what have become known as 'more-than-human' modes of enquiry, concerned with the material and ecological fabric of social life and the politics of knowledge through which this fabric is contested and re-made historically and today. Of particular interest are those situations and events in which different ecological epistemologies are brought into conflict. This informs a more recent body of work interrogating the relationship between science and democracy particularly in terms of the nature of evidence in the practices of environmental science and law and the role of expertise in environmental governance, now widely mediated by risk modelling techniques. Her work has been supported by a variety of funding bodies including various UK Research Councils, NGOs and Government agencies, as well as charitable foundations such the Mellon Foundation.
James Wilsdon - Director of the Nexus Network / Director of Impact & Engagement, Sheffield University
In January 2016, James joined the Department of Politics as Professor of Research Policy. He combines this with a role in the Faculty of Social Sciences as Director of Impact and Engagement. He is also Director of the Nexus Network, a £1.8m ESRC initiative to link research & policy across food, energy, water and the environment. Since 2013, he has been Chair of the Campaign for Social Science, and he recently chaired a government review of the role of metrics in the management of the UK’s research system, which published its final report The Metric Tide in July 2015. Building on this, he is now leading an expert panel for the European Commission on the role of altmetrics. He is also on the advisory board of Scientists for EU. Previously, James worked as Professor of Science and Democracy at SPRU, University of Sussex (2011-2015), Director of Science Policy at the Royal Society (2008-2011), Head of Science and Innovation at Demos (2001-2008), Senior Research Fellow at Lancaster University's Institute for Advanced Studies (2006-2008) and Senior Policy Adviser at Forum for the Future (1997-2001). James contributes regularly to the media and is one of the editors of the Guardian's 'Political Science' blog on science and research policy. In 2015, James was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.