Royal Institution announces new Director

The Royal Institution has announced the appointment of Katherine Mathieson as its new Director.

exterior of the Ri building
Image credit: Tim Mitchell

The Royal Institution has today announced the appointment of Katherine Mathieson as its new Director.

Katherine has spent her distinguished career in the field of science communication, including senior roles as Head of Future Innovators at NESTA and Director of Education and Director of Programmes at the British Science Association (BSA).

She is currently Chief Executive of the BSA – a post she has held since 2016 – and is a charity leaders’ coach and mentor for award-winning social enterprise, Pilotlight.

Welcoming Katherine’s appointment, Sir Richard Catlow, Ri Trustee and Chair of the Appointments Committee, said: “I am delighted that we have secured Katherine’s leadership expertise for the Ri, as we focus on our strategy for the future. Her track record in science communication along with her compelling vision, and commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion made her the outstanding candidate in a very strong field of applicants.”

Katherine will take up her post at the Ri in the spring, replacing Interim Director Lucinda Hunt.

Lucinda is due to step down from her leadership role at the end of January, having initially become Director for what was intended to be a brief transition period in January 2020. As the first UK lockdown followed, she remained in post, successfully leading efforts to stabilise, and then secure the future of the Ri, as the independent charity’s income was decimated by Covid-19.

Paying tribute to Lucinda’s leadership as Interim Director, Sir Richard Sykes, Chair of Trustees, said: “Lucinda selflessly gave up her position as an Ri Trustee, to lead our charity for a short time following the departure of the previous Director.

“That was shortly before lockdown and Lucinda has remained in post and shown exemplary leadership throughout the pandemic. She has successfully steered the Ri through the most challenging period in our 222-year history.

“We all know that the pandemic is not yet over, however the Ri is financially secure, is running most of its engagement and charitable activities at pre-pandemic levels and has introduced new innovations such as our popular livestream talks, which have increased our reach and made the Ri more accessible.

“I very much welcome Katherine’s appointment as an inspirational leader who will realise the Ri’s vision and, at the same time, I cannot pay a high enough tribute to Lucinda’s exceptional leadership over the past two years.”


For more information, please contact Robert Davies in the Ri press office:+44 (0)20 7670 2991 /