Sir Anthony Cleaver smiling at camera wearing graduation gown and cap

Doctor of Law

A highly successful business leader and champion of environmental sustainability.

Born in 1938, Sir Anthony attended Berkhamsted School and, after National Service, went up to Trinity College, Oxford in 1958 as an Open Scholar. He graduated in 1962 in Literae Humaniores.

Sir Anthony joined IBM in 1962 as a Trainee Instructor, moving to Systems Engineering in 1966 and becoming a Consultant Systems Engineer in 1968. His subsequent career spanned marketing, product management and production scheduling but mostly in line management. His two overseas assignments were to the United States in 1973-74 and to the IBM European Headquarters in Paris from 1980-82 where he was European Vice-President of Marketing. On his return to the United Kingdom, Sir Anthony was named General Manager in 1983, Chief Executive in 1986 and Chairman and Chief Executive in 1990. He retired from IBM in 1994.

Sir Anthony became Chairman of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority in 1993. In 1996, he led the privatisation and subsequent flotation of UKAEA’s commercial activities, becoming Chairman of AEA Technology plc – a position he held until the end of 2001. He retired as Chairman of Novia Financial Plc in 2021.

He was Chairman of IX Europe plc, SThree plc and Working Links (Employment) Limited and was a Director of the Links Foundation. He was founding Chairman of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority from July 2004-July 2007, Chairman of the Medical Research Council from October 1998 until July 2006, and has been Chairman of Engineering UK, UK eUniversities Worldwide Limited, General Cable plc and The Strategic Partnership Limited, a non-executive Director of General Accident plc, Lockheed Martin UK Limited and Smith & Nephew plc and a member of the British Government Panel on Sustainable Development. He was also a Member of the Committee on Standards in Public Life (Nolan Committee), Chairman of the Government’s Asia Pacific Advisors, Trade Partners UK and a Member of the Singapore British Business Council.

From 1976-80 he was a Director of the National Computing Centre, and was a member of the British Overseas Trade Board from 1988 to 1991. In 1993 he joined the Government’s Industrial Development Advisory Board, of which he was Chairman until October 1999.

In the field of education and training, Sir Anthony was a founder member of the National Training Task Force and Chairman of its TEC Committee. He was also Chairman of the Independent Assessors of the TECs and a member of NACETT. He chaired the RSA Inquiry into “Tomorrow’s Company” and was, from 1989 to 1999, Chairman of the Governors of Birkbeck College, London. From 1997 to 2002 he was President of the Involvement & Participation Association (IPA), and was, for several years, a member of the PPARC Appointments Committee. Sir Anthony was Chairman of the Council for Excellence in Management and Leadership until May 2002 and President of the Chartered Management Institute for the year 1999/2000.

From his long term concern with the environment, Sir Anthony was a director of the UK Centre for Economic and Environmental Development from 1982-98 (Vice-Chairman from 1990-98). He was President of Business Commitment to the Environment, has been a Deputy Chairman of Business in the Community and was founding Chairman of Business in the Environment from its inception in 1989 until November 1999. He was a member of the first Advisory Committee on Business and the Environment set up by the Departments of Environment and Trade and Industry, and Chairman of its working party on environmental management. In 1990, Sir Anthony was named a member of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Global 500 Roll of Honour. Sir Anthony was Chairman of the Natural Environment Research Council from 2014 until April 2018.

He is an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford, Birkbeck College, London and University of Central Lancashire, an Honorary LLD of Nottingham and Portsmouth Universities, an Honorary DSc of Cranfield, City University and Hull University, an Honorary DUniv of Middlesex University and a Fellow of the City & Guilds Institute. He also has a DTech from London Metropolitan University. He was President of the Classical Association for 1995-96. In 2011 Sir Anthony was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and in 2013 became an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers.

Sir Anthony is closely involved in the arts. He was Chairman of the Royal College of Music from 1999-July 2007 and was Deputy Chairman of the English National Opera until November 2000 (Director since 1988).  He has also been a Director of the Association for Business Sponsorship of the Arts. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Music in 2008 and was Master of the Worshipful Company of Musicians in 2013-14.

Sir Anthony was knighted in the 1992 New Year’s Honours List. He is married with one son and one daughter.