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Heads of department

Everything you need to know about the IOP’s heads of department.

Sarah Bakewell

Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

A portrait of Sarah Bakewell IOP head of equality, diversity and inclusion

Sarah joined the IOP in February 2021 to provide leadership and expertise to the EDI strands woven within the Unlocking the Future strategy.

She is currently leading on the creation of a new inclusion model for physics to replace Project Juno, the IOP’s gender equality award, and supporting governance activity to include IOP members in delivery of the strategic goals.

Sarah leads a team of four and between them they cover all aspects of EDI including policy, working with IOP members and staff education and engagement.

Sarah previously worked at AWE plc as the diversity and inclusion manager where she established the D&I activity including working with the executive to design the governance and reporting, creating five employee resource groups, delivering D&I training and activities across the organisation and attaining a Silver Award in external EDI benchmarking from the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion (enei) for the progress made.

Sarah is CIPD qualified as well as being a qualified and experienced learning and development consultant, designing and delivering high-quality development solutions for both local government and industry.

Elizabeth Chamberlain

Head of Policy

A portrait of Elizabeth Chamberlain IOP head of policy

Elizabeth joined the IOP in January 2021 to lead our policy work in the UK. Elizabeth has more than 15 years’ experience of working in policy and influencing policy change, at both the national and European level.

Prior to joining the IOP, Elizabeth held senior policy and leadership roles in the UK non-governmental sector, and the EU NGO sector.

Her career started in various European institutions in Brussels, including working in the cabinet of the then vice-president of the European Commission.

Anne Crean CPhys FInstP

Head of Science and Innovation

A headshot of smiling Anne Crean, IOP Head of Science and Innovation

Anne joined the IOP in 2014 and is responsible for the organisation’s science and innovation work to advance physics and its applications.

Anne is part of the senior leadership team, which provides oversight for member engagement.

An integral part of Anne’s role is looking at the ways in which IOP supports business and industry, as well as strengthening the systems within which physicists work.

The IOP’s awards, special interest groups, conferences and physics insights data analytics are also part of Anne’s remit.

Prior to joining the IOP, Anne held multiple executive and non-executive director posts. She was chair and non-executive director of a cleantech investment company, CEO of a company that raised over £120m to support business growth, and the London Development Agency's director of business, innovation and skills programmes with a budget of £180m and multidisciplinary team of over 90 staff.

She was a director of partnerships at a research and technology organisation delivering research and development contracts and knowledge-transfer programmes, where she was lead partner in a successful £500m bid to manage a national innovation facility.

Anne studied and carried out physics research at the University of the West of Scotland, Heriot-Watt University, the University of St Andrews and the University of Essex, specialising in photonics and ultrafast lasers.

David Howitt

Head of Governance and Compliance

A portrait of smiling David Howitt, IOP head of governance and compliance

David joined the IOP in January 2020 and leads on the IOP’s compliance programme, ensuring that its governance structure reflects a modern organisation.

David trained and qualified as a solicitor with Clifford Chance in London and Hong Kong before taking up the role as head of legal for a company in Hong Kong. He then moved to a major national law firm as a corporate/commercial solicitor where his main focus was on the gas and electricity sector.

He worked for National Grid and its group/successor businesses for 19 years, joining as a senior solicitor, then working as general counsel for a National Grid group company where he was a member of the executive team and both established and led the legal, compliance, risk and audit function. He was then appointed as head of secretariat and company secretary for the newly divested National Grid gas distribution business.

David has extensive corporate governance and board experience, having been a company secretary for 15 years.

Dominic Hurley

Head of International Relations

A portrait of smiling Dominic Hurley, IOP Head of International Relations

Dominic joined the IOP in September 2019 and is responsible for developing the international strategy, building on existing work with international organisations, and supporting the physics sector to work and collaborate internationally whilst solidifying the IOP’s position as a global thought leader.

Dominic has significant experience in complex, high-profile international settings having previously worked for the mayor of London in two roles, as head of international relations, and head of diplomatic and business engagement for the London 2012 Olympics, and in addition was head of international relations at the Law Society. Dominic has also worked at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, for a local authority and in academia.

Dominic has a degree from the University of Essex and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics.

Alison McLure

Head of Scotland

A portrait of Alison McLure, IOP Head of Scotland

Alison is the head of the IOP’s team in Scotland and is responsible for delivering our strategy in the country. Her focus is to ensure that the IOP’s programmes are fully implemented in Scotland so that everyone can benefit from the amazing opportunities that physics provides. She joined in 2005 as national officer (Scotland) and has increased the impact of the IOP there in that time.

As a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, Alison worked for the Meteorological Office for ten years, after graduating in physics from the University of Aberdeen. Her variety of jobs included researching and developing instruments for the tops of mountains and forecasting the weather for the RAF, BBC and British Antarctic Survey.

She built her business skills by running a yacht marina in the west coast of Scotland, before returning to the city to join the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department to work in farming policy. She also worked for the Scottish Leadership Foundation as people exchange manager, before joining the IOP.

She has a postgraduate diploma in outdoor environmental and sustainability education and in her spare time can be found doing citizen science surveys of birds, bumblebees and butterflies. She also has a love of cold places and in her holidays has led young people on expeditions to the Arctic and the Antarctic.

Tajinder Panesor MInstP

Head of Membership

A portrait of Tajinder Panesor, IOP Head of membership

Taj joined the IOP in March 2000 and, in his current role, is responsible for member recruitment, engagement and retention, professional registration, the groups and branches member networks, and the events and conferences programme.

He is also responsible for the management of the IOP’s digital development and infrastructure programme of work.

In his time at the IOP, Taj has also worked in several other areas, most notably international affairs, science policy, and commercial event management.

Prior to the IOP, Taj worked for a number of organisations including Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, Harefield Hospital, and Glaxo Group Research.

He holds a BSc in applied biochemistry and an MSc in environmental pollution science. He is a member of the IOP.

Clare Paredes

Head of Communications and Marketing

A headshot of smiling Clare Paredes IOP head of communications and marketing

Clare joined the IOP in October 2022 to lead our Communications and Marketing department. She is driving forward the IOP’s efforts to raise the profile of physics as a solution to society’s challenges, communicate the IOP’s vital work and promote our valued offer to members.

She leads a team of 13 marketing, communications, digital and content specialists who bring to life the IOP’s impact and the incredible work of IOP members.

Before the IOP, she worked at the National Housing Federation (NHF), the membership body for housing associations, where she campaigned about the housing crisis and transformed the NHF’s member communications and digital offer. Previously, she worked in the advertising and charity sectors, and spent two years in Chile as a writer and editor for the Chilean tourist board.

Eluned Parrott

Head of Wales

Eluned Parrott IOP Head of Wales in business attire

Eluned joined the IOP in 2020 and is responsible for leading our strategy for Wales.

A fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a former politician, Eluned brings significant experience of working in policy and public engagement in the public and third sectors.

She was a shadow minister for the economy, science and transport in Senedd Cymru, and also led high-profile campaigns and debates on mental health, educational inclusion and skills.

Immediately before joining the IOP, Eluned was the first director of the Unite Foundation, a young educational charity working with care-experienced and estranged students across the UK.

In this role she undertook a major strategic review and advised government on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on lone students.

She was also founding director of a specialist communications agency where she led on sustainability, inclusion, engagement and community development for major infrastructure bids, and lectured on communications and public policy for postgraduate students and early-career researchers.

In addition to her work with the IOP, Eluned is a trustee of the National Botanic Garden of Wales and an infrastructure commissioner for Wales, in which capacity she often speaks on sustainability, transport and energy.

Hari Rentala

Head of Learning and Skills

A portrait of Hari Rentala IOP head of learning and skills in a white shirt

Hari joined the IOP in 2022, to lead the organisation’s work towards achieving equity of access to a high-quality physics education across UK and Ireland, focusing on tackling the systemic issues that hold back physics teaching and physics-related technical pathways.

He is also responsible for strategic oversight of Planet Possibility, an IOP Challenge Fund-backed initiative to attract young people, especially from under-represented groups, to consider physics-related careers in the UK.

Prior to this, Hari built significant leadership, policy, strategy and transformation experience working in a wide range of roles over well over a decade in government. Most recently, this included leading cross-government strategy work on realising the benefits for the UK from high-potential physics-based emerging technologies, such as quantum and autonomous robotics, and leading a ministerial office and support team.

Previous roles included: European competition policy and regulation, infrastructure strategy, public service transformation (including working on an independent HM Treasury-sponsored review), and outsourcing and commercial delivery.

He holds a BSc in genetics from the University of Manchester as well as a graduate diploma in purchasing and supply chain management.

Louise Swan

Head of Public Engagement

A headshot of Louise Swan IOP head of public engagement

Louise joined the IOP in 2017 and is responsible for the IOP’s public dialogue and public engagement, ensuring they are driven and informed by Limit Less, our influencing campaign around the UK and Ireland.

Prior to joining us, Louise held programme leadership positions with English PEN and the public health programme of Open Society Foundations, where she was based in New York, supporting grantees from marginalised communities in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and sub-Saharan Africa on their campaigns for better access to public health.

Prior to that she had 20 years’ broadcast experience with the BBC World Service, and Radio 3 and 4.

Charles Tracy

Senior Adviser, Learning and Skills

A headshot of smiling Charles Tracy, IOP Senior Adviser, Leaning and Skills

Charles joined the IOP in 2006 and now advises on learning and skills issues. He works closely with the executive and heads teams as well as with external stakeholders.

From 2008-2022, Charles was head of education at the IOP and established and led a number of national projects – some of which had government funding.

Prior to working at the IOP, Charles was a physics teacher, head of science and Local Authority adviser in Hertfordshire, and he has worked with publishers and broadcasters on physics teaching resources.

He was awarded an OBE in 2023 for services to education.

Jacki Uren

Head of Finance

A headshot of smiling Jacqueline (Jacki) Uren, IOP Head of Finance

Jacki joined the IOP in June 2022 from IOP Publishing (IOPP). Jacki is responsible for the finances of the IOP and its financial structure and rigour.

Jacki has extensive knowledge of the IOP group, having joined IOPP in 2011. Her initial role was as senior business partner supporting the Publishing Division, leading on to senior financial accountant for the IOP, providing support for the management of the charity’s funds and leading on the production of the group financial accounts.

Jacki is a chartered accountant, having qualified with Ernst & Young. This included auditing a variety of commercial organisations, specialising in telecommunications, and work in the UK and Australia.