“I would like to thank Professor Tom Welton OBE, Professor Gill Reid and Claire Gallery Strong, together with other members of the Board of Trustees and Dr Julie Maxton CBE, Executive Director of the Royal Society for their invaluable time and effort they have given to the recruitment process.
“As well as congratulating Helen, we would like to record our thanks to the other excellent candidates for their interest in the RSC and their professionalism throughout the process. We wish them the very best for the future.
“On behalf of the trustees, we very much look forward to working collaboratively with Helen as we embark on an exciting and ambitious new long-term strategy.”
Dr Helen Pain CSci CChem FRSC, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said: “As a member of the RSC, and a Chartered Chemist, the opportunity to become Chief Executive is an incredible privilege and a real honour for me.
“I would like to thank all of the teams across the RSC and our membership community for their continued support and commitment. I would also like to acknowledge the incredible work of our Trustees, our Leadership Team and my predecessor, Dr Robert Parker.
“Our role is to have a positive impact on the world, through the work of our community and the significant contribution that chemistry makes to all of our lives.
“My vision is to bring people and organisations together, globally across academia and industry, to lead programmes of change in areas that matter, for example science culture, sustainability and education. And to help people gain maximum value from their relationship with the RSC, through membership at any stage of their career, by publishing cutting-edge research with us or by engaging with our outstanding education resources.
"There are significant opportunities, post-pandemic, to inspire future generations to ensure a skilled and diverse workforce for chemical science and for chemistry and our community to make the world a better place.”
Helen has been leading the organisation since January 2020 when the previous Chief Executive, Robert Parker, temporarily reduced his responsibilities and working hours to undergo a double hip replacement. He subsequently relinquished his role in December 2020.
Helen joined the Royal Society of Chemistry in 1994 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 (to address gender inequality in science), Chemistry for All (making chemistry more inclusive in schools), Elements in danger (tackling sustainability issues), 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.