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Frances Wood

UKRI names Frances Wood as new international director

UKRI, the Swindon-based government-funded research and innovation body, has appointed Frances Wood as international director.

Frances is currently regional director for the UK government Science and Innovation Network covering Europe, Russia, Turkey and Israel.

Prior to her role in the SIN, she was head of the economics unit in the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Before this, Frances was economic counsellor in South Korea, where she covered economics, science and climate and energy.

Her work included solving market access issues for British companies and promoting research and student links in areas such as marine energy and neuroscience.

Previous jobs in the FCDO include leading for the UK on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, climate and resource security and green growth.

Frances has also worked at the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and is the co-chair of FCDO Women, which promotes gender equality within the FCDO.

Frances has a Master’s in international security from the University of Bristol.

She takes up her UKRI role in July.

UKRI international champion Professor Christopher Smith said: “We are delighted to welcome Frances to lead UKRI International.

“UKRI’s international reach and depth places it at the heart of the UK’s ambitions for leadership and a renewed role as a force for good in a global knowledge economy.

“Frances’ knowledge and experience will be invaluable as we develop our international portfolio in and beyond the current spending review.

Frances said: “Research and innovation are global endeavours, and to deliver on UKRI’s vision of connecting discovery to prosperity and public good, we need strong and deep international partnerships.

“I am thrilled to be appointed as international director to lead on strengthening and deepening the partnerships the UK needs.

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