New Chair of Trustees for USPG

John Neilson, Secretary of Imperial College London, will be the next Chair of the Trustees of USPG; United Society Partners in the Gospel.

He will succeed Canon Chris Chivers, Principal of Westcott House Cambridge, whose six year term will finish in July.

Commenting on his appointment John Neilson (pictured) said: ‘I am excited to be asked to lead the USPG Trustees, at such an important time to be improving partnerships across the worldwide Anglican community. USPG’s work with partner churches to tackle poverty and injustice and to transform lives is inspirational. There is a big challenge to communicate the vision and purpose of a twenty-first century mission agency more widely, particularly in parishes.

‘I look forward to working closely with USPG’s excellent new Chief Executive, the Revd Duncan Dormor, the Trustees, Council members and staff.  I would like to pay tribute to the outstanding service which Chris Chivers has given to USPG over many years.’

Duncan Dormor said: ‘I am absolutely delighted that John will be joining USPG as our Chair of Trustees. He brings an immense wealth of expertise and knowledge to the role which will prove invaluable as USPG looks to the future and builds on its distinguished history to serve the world-wide church through a deeper participation in God’s mission.’

Canon Chris Chivers said: ‘It’s a delight to know that someone of John Neilson’s considerable experience will be USPG’s new chair. I wish him every success in the exciting possibilities that lie ahead.’



John Neilson studied mathematics at Corpus Christi College Cambridge. He then worked in Whitehall for over thirty years, starting in the Department of Energy, then in the Economic Secretariat of the Cabinet Office and as Principal Private Secretary to the Energy Secretary, John Wakeham.

After leading the DTI teams advising on telecommunications and aerospace & defence, he was an executive board member of the gas and electricity regulator Ofgem, and then led the team advising ministers on the £6 billion annual budget for university research.

He has been a board member of five Research Councils, the Met Office and the Royal Albert Hall.  Six years ago he moved to become Secretary of Imperial College London.

John worships at St Mary’s Church, Wimbledon. After being churchwarden of the Parish of Wimbledon he became involved in clergy annual reviews and mentoring in the Diocese of Southwark, and has just completed a ten- year term on the Audit Committee of the Archbishops’ Council.

John has been co-opted as a Trustee of USPG whilst he is Chair designate, and his appointment as Chair will be put to USPG’s Council when it meets in July.


About USPG

USPG – United Society Partners in the Gospel – is the Anglican mission agency that partners churches and communities worldwide in God’s mission to enliven faith, strengthen relationships, unlock potential and achieve justice.

It supports a huge range of initiatives in more than thirty countries, among them projects that improve healthcare, tackle poverty, give children access to education, challenge discrimination, and help to tackle gender-based violence and empower women.

Its current and recent initiatives include supporting counselling and treatment for people with HIV in Zimbabwe, a programme to improve healthcare in isolated rural parts of Myanmar, and assistance for refugees and migrants in Europe who have fled war and persecution in their home countries.

Founded in 1701 by the Revd Thomas Bray (who also founded SPCK – Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge), USPG helps people regardless of their beliefs or background.

Further information about USPG can be found at:

Views expressed on this blog are not necessarily those of Us.
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