Seamus Gillen

Seamus started his career working for the UK government as a Whitehall civil servant, responsible for a range of portfolios before becoming Private Secretary to two Cabinet Ministers, John Gummer MP, UK Secretary of State for the Environment, and John Prescott MP, UK Deputy Prime Minister. During this period, he also served as an adviser to the French Government, as well as studying at the elite École Nationale d’Administration.

He moved into industry, as the Group Company Secretary and Director of Regulation at Anglian Water plc (water industry), and then assumed the role of Head of Public Policy and Regulation at O2 plc (telecoms industry).

He became Policy Director at the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA), now known as ICSA The Chartered Governance Institute (CGI), where he authored a number of influential publications, including CGI’s guidance on ‘Boardroom Behaviours’, and the UK’s benchmark document for board effectiveness – the Financial Reporting Council’s ‘Guidance on Boardroom Effectiveness’. The Guidance was adopted as the Corporate Governance Code for the Baltic Republics – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – and has been widely sourced and referenced around the world. In 2019, Seamus wrote the Governance Code for Seychelles. Seamus was also responsible for the production of CGI’s technical output, including its best practice Guidance Notes on boards and directors.

Seamus runs his own governance advisory business – Value Alpha Limited – working with boards and directors around the world. His particular focus is on board effectiveness and director effectiveness. He runs a Leadership Development Programme for company secretaries, and a LinkedIn discussion group on Building Better Boards. He is currently writing a book for Bloomsbury Publishing, entitled Building Better Boards, due for publication in 2022.

Seamus writes and speaks extensively on governance issues. He holds a Degree in Business Studies and French (University of Leeds), and is an MBA (Henley Business School) and a CGI Fellow and prize-winner.

Seamus was nominated and shortlisted for the Governance Champion of the Year 2020 Award at the ICSA Chartered Governance Institute Awards 2020.

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