Neil Hornby takes over as Cefas Chief Executive

1 February 2021

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Neil Hornby has today (1st February 2021) taken up his new position as Chief Executive of Cefas (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science).

Neil joins Cefas with over 20 years of experience across Defra, and the wider civil service. Immediately prior to joining Cefas, Neil was the Marine and Fisheries Director at Defra, a position he held since 2016.

Neil’s immediate focus will be on ensuring Cefas continues to provide Defra and UK government with the world class science and evidence needed to support delivery of the government’s marine environment, fisheries and animal health objectives.

Internationally, 2021 marks a “super year” for ocean science and global action to protect the ocean.  Cefas has a huge opportunity to contribute to the government’s efforts to secure greater international ambition for protecting our ocean, including through the UK’s G7 presidency and at the Convention on Biological Diversity in China and COP26 in Glasgow.

Speaking on taking up the post, Neil Hornby said:

“I know the quality of the work that Cefas does and believe passionately in the power of science for good, to drive real change based on evidence and expertise.

“Cefas science and analysis is highly valued in the UK government and around the world.  As the UK takes on responsibility for managing our own fisheries and seeks to lead the world in protecting and enhancing the marine environment, I want Cefas to be at the centre of this, providing advice and evidence to meet the challenges our seas and aquatic environments face.”

Prior to Neil’s appointment Tom Karsten was CEO from September 2015 to June 2020, and Tim Green held the Interim Chief Executive position between July 2020 and January 2021.