IChemE announces appointment of new CEO

IChemE announces appointment of new CEO

9th January 2023

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) has announced that Yvonne Baker OBE has been appointed as its new Chief Executive Officer and will take up the post from April 2023, following Jon Prichard’s decision to step down from the role in September 2022.

Yvonne, a Chartered Chemical Engineer, is currently Chief Executive of STEM Learning, the largest provider of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and careers support to schools, colleges and community groups across the UK, a role she has held for twelve years.

During her time at STEM Learning, Yvonne led the organisation through an ever-changing education, STEM and economic environment, including the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic. Working with key stakeholders, she transformed STEM Learning into a national leader in STEM education support, recognised for its expertise, reach and impact on young people’s educational outcomes and life chances. Increasing the organisation’s income by some 300%, Yvonne’s focus on demonstrating impact enabled STEM Learning to increase its funding from Government, charities and industry, providing support to every school across the UK and almost every science teacher.

Yvonne was awarded an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the late Queen’s 2022 New Year Honours List for services to STEM education.

David Bogle, IChemE President, said:

“I am delighted to announce Yvonne as IChemE’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). She brings a wealth of senior leadership experience managing membership organisations as well as working with a wide range of different stakeholders.

“As a chemical engineer and IChemE member herself, Yvonne fully understands the requirements of our members and I am confident that she will drive the Institution forward to meet the challenges and opportunities ahead.

“Yvonne will build on the substantial work undertaken by Jon during his tenure, continuing to grow IChemE to ensure the Institution represents and supports the chemical engineering profession to serve society. I look forward to working closely with her.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to take the opportunity to thank Jo Downham for stepping into the role of Interim CEO during this intervening period, and for her commitment and leadership during this time.”

Yvonne said:

“Having started my journey in STEM as a chemical engineer and having been a member of IChemE since 1986, joining the Institution as its Chief Executive Officer is a great honour and hugely exciting.

“Highlighting and articulating the importance and impact of all things and everyone involved in chemical, biochemical and process engineering has never been more vital as we work with others to address the global concerns around sustainability, food security, energy security and health.

“IChemE already does so much to support these efforts and I want to strengthen our ability to do still more as the world faces challenging but also exciting times ahead.

“I look forward to working with the Board of Trustees, Congress, volunteers and the expert staff team to help deliver IChemE’s ambitious plans to ensure that members are appropriately represented, and their contributions widely recognised.”

Yvonne will join IChemE on 12 April 2023, taking over from interim Chief Executive Officer Jo Downham who will revert to her position as Director, Finance and Business Support.


Yvonne Baker OBE


For more information please contact:

Lucy Cook, Communications Manager, IChemE
t: +44 (0) 1788 534454
e: lcook@icheme.org

Claire Shepherd, Communications Executive, IChemE  
t: +44 (0) 1788 534457  
e: cshepherd@icheme.org 

What is chemical engineering?

Chemical, biochemical and process engineering is the application of science, mathematics and economics in the process of turning raw materials into everyday, and more specialist, products. Professional chemical engineers design, construct and manage process operations all over the world. Oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, food and drink, synthetic fibres and clean drinking water are just some of the products where chemical engineering plays a central role.


The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) advances chemical engineering's contribution worldwide for the benefit of society. We facilitate the development of chemical engineering professionals and provide connections to a powerful network of over 29,000 members in more than 100 countries.

We support our members in applying their expertise and experience to make an influential contribution to solving major global challenges, and are the only organisation permitted to award Chartered Chemical Engineer status and Professional Process Safety Engineer registration.