The Institute of Directors has announced the appointment of Jonathan Geldart as its new director general. The vastly experienced executive takes up the post on 1 October.
Geldart has spent three decades in the professional services sector and was responsible for developing Grant Thornton’s interests in China, having previously sat on the company’s global board.
An expert on doing business in China, he has advised the government on how to boost Sino-British trade – contributing to the House of Commons select committee for international trade.
Holding a long-standing affiliation with the IoD, Geldart previously chaired the institute’s Yorkshire and North East regions and has pledged to use his tenure as director general to help business leaders equip themselves for challenging times.
“With current turmoil in both the political and business environments, I strongly believe that it is even more important to equip directors of all organisations with the tools to be resilient and agile in their response to a fast-changing world,” he said. “The Institute of Directors has a crucial role to play in this and I’m honoured to have been chosen to lead it at this time.”
He added: “I believe skilled, knowledgeable directors improve their organisations, the communities in which they operate and consequently the whole economy. The UK needs more directors who understand and responsibly discharge both their legal and societal duties. These directors need a strong IoD to provide them with guidance, representation and a community of like-minded peers.”
The IoD’s chair, Charlotte Valeur, said: “Jon impressed the board with his vision for the future of the IoD and we believe he is the ideal person to refresh our offering to members. At this pivotal moment, when the UK is trying to establish a new role on the global stage, Jon brings an international perspective combined with a deep understanding of the needs of directors.”
In addition to being a fellow of the IoD, Geldart is also a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. His list of interests includes polar exploration. In 2016 he completed an expedition to the North Pole on foot.
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