Allan Cook was appointed a non-executive director of WS Atkins in September 2009, taking up the post of chairman on 1 February 2010. He is a chartered engineer with more than 30 years’ international experience in the automotive, aerospace and defence industries. He was chief executive of Cobham PLC until the end of December 2009. Prior to this he held senior roles at GEC-Marconi, BAE Systems and Hughes Aircraft. He is chairman of FINMECCANICA UK Ltd, chairman of Selex ES, deputy chairman of Marshall of Cambridge (Holdings) Limited and a member of the operating executive board of J.F. Lehman & Company. He is chairman of the Skills & Jobs Retention Group, chairman of the Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies (SEMTA). He is also lead Non-Executive Member of the Departmental Board for the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, and was chairman of UK Trade & Investment’s Advanced Engineering Sector Advisory Board until October 2013. He was past president of the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) and past president of the Society of British Aerospace and Defence Companies (SBAC).He was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list in 2008, is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He chairs the Academy’s employer-focused Diversity Leadership Group, part of the BIS STEM Diversity Programme, and in July 2013 was elected by the Academy’s Fellowship to the Council for a term of three years.