Helen Pain becomes acting CEO
Dr Helen Pain, Deputy CEO at the Royal Society of Chemistry, has become Acting CEO with immediate effect.
Helen will hold the position until 31 December 2020, while Robert Parker – who has been CEO since 2011 – has temporarily made changes to his working hours and will work part-time to accommodate two separate hip replacements and recovery periods.
Helen joined the Royal Society of Chemistry after completing a degree and PhD in Chemistry. She is a Chartered Chemist and a Chartered Scientist.
At the RSC, she has led many of its strategic functions, becoming Deputy CEO in 2015. Helen is a champion for the profession and has commissioned bold campaigns such as Breaking the Barriers and our work to support Technicians.
In 2018, Helen was appointed as Chair of the Science Council, a UK organisation for the advancement of the science profession.
Helen said: “I am incredibly proud to be leading the organisation this year and really excited about the programme of work we will be delivering. I have a strong belief that we must remain focused on our core purpose but recognise that the chemical sciences world is changing fast. We’ll be focused on ensuring that we continue to work across the chemical science community, driving forward our open access ambitions and providing thought leadership on crucial topics that can drive real advancements in science.
“One area of challenge but huge opportunity is our work to support the advancement and practice of the chemical sciences in industry. This will mean ensuring that we attract, develop and support a diverse range of talented individuals across the profession.”
Robert Parker said: “The organisation is in very safe hands. I have had the pleasure of working alongside Helen for many years and she has both the knowledge and experience to do an excellent job as Acting CEO. As part of my revised role, I very much look forward to taking forward what will be the first Commonwealth Chemistry Congress and returning to full-time work again at the end of the year.”
Editor’s note: this article was updated to amend Robert’s start date, after his surgery and recovery timetable changed owing to COVID-19.