Office for Nuclear Regulation

Dame Judith Hackitt named new ONR interim Chair

5 December, 2023

Dame Judith Hackitt has been named as the new interim Chair of the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).

She will begin her appointment on 1 January 2024, taking over from outgoing Chair, Mark McAllister, who has been formally appointed as the new Chair of Ofgem.

Dame Judith’s position is for an interim period during which a recruitment campaign will be conducted to select the next permanent ONR Chair.

Dame Judith, a title she was awarded in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to health and safety and engineering, and in particular for being a role model for young women, is a current Non-Executive Director at HS2.

She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2010, currently serving as a trustee of the Academy, and is a chemical engineer with decades of experience in the chemicals manufacturing industry.

Her additional current positions include being Chair at engineering and education organisation Enginuity, and she was formerly Chair of the Health and Safety Executive for more than eight years and former Chair of manufacturing trade body Make UK (formerly the Engineering Employers’ Federation).

Dame Judith said: “I am very pleased to take on the role of interim Chair of ONR at this important time for both the regulator itself and for the UK’s energy strategy.

“Nuclear is part of the government’s strategy for meeting our country’s energy needs and to deliver at pace we need a strong and efficient regulatory regime in place to enable industry and provide public assurance.”

Paul Maynard, Minister for Pensions, said: “I am delighted to welcome Dame Judith Hackitt to the role of (interim) ONR chair. She will bring considerable leadership experience to the role and provide the stability required until the next permanent chair is appointed.

“I would also like to pay tribute to the ONR’s current Chair, Mark McAllister, for his contribution to nuclear safety and security for more than four years – as well as the support and guidance he has provided to myself and my predecessors.”

Mark Foy, ONR’s Chief Executive and Chief Nuclear Inspector, said: “We are delighted to welcome Dame Judith as the interim Chair of ONR.

“Dame Judith’s strong track record within regulation and her considerable past experience provide a great opportunity to understand how we can further improve in how we deliver our work to protect society by securing safe nuclear operations.

“I want to reiterate my thanks to Mark McAllister for his almost five years with ONR, his leadership and support have been invaluable during his time with us, as has his proactive approach to engaging with fellow regulators, government, and industry.

“We now look forward to working with Dame Judith to help us ensure that we continue to have a positive influence across our regulatory purposes, maintaining the trust of the public and stakeholders as an effective, modern, collaborative regulator.”