Sir Richard Sykes

Chair of the Board of Trustees 2010-

Sir Richard Sykes in front of the Ri, he has short gray hair, and is wearing glasses and a dark suit with a magenta tie
Image credit: Paul Wilkinson


Sir Richard is Chairman of The Royal Institution of Great Britain and Chairman of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. He remains Chairman of The UK Stem Cell Foundation, Chairman of the Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC), Non-Executive Chairman of Omnicyte Ltd and Non-Executive Chairman of NetScientific plc.

Prior to that, he was Vice Chairman at the Swiss life sciences company Lonza Group from 2003-12, Executive Chair of Circassia Holdings Ltd from 2007-12, Executive Chair of Toumaz Holdings from 2005-12, and was an advisory member of Siemens Holdings plc from 2008-12 and was on the Virgin Group Advisory Board from 2010-12.  He was Senior Independent Director and Non-Executive Deputy Chairman of ENRC from 2007 -11, Chairman of NHS London from December 2008-10, Rector of Imperial College London from 2000-08 and the Senior Independent Director of Rio Tinto plc from 1997 -2008.

He has over 30 years of experience within the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, serving as Chief Executive and Chairman of GlaxoWellcome from 1995 -2000 and then as Chairman of GlaxoSmithkline until 2002.

Internationally, he is Chairman of the International Advisory Board, A*Star Biomedical Research Council, Singapore and a Board member of EDBI.  He was awarded Honorary Citizenship of Singapore in 2004 for his contribution to the development of the country's biomedical sciences industry.

Sir Richard holds a number of degrees and awards from institutions both in the UK and overseas.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and Academy of Medical Sciences, and Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society of Chemistry, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Royal College of Pathologists and Royal College of Physicians. He is also President of the R&D Society, a position he has held since July 2002.

He is a Fellow of Imperial College London and Imperial College School of Medicine, King's College London and Honorary Fellow of the University of Wales, Cardiff and the University of Central Lancashire. 

Sir Richard received a Knighthood in the 1994 New Year's Honours list for services to the pharmaceutical industry.

This page was last modified on 11 November 2021.