UK Space Agency seeks new head to support economic growth

Written by Beckie Smith on 15 March 2021 in News

Salary of £125,000 on offer for ‘high-profile international role’

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The UK Space Agency is offering up to £125,000 a new chief executive to be the “public face of the UK’s efforts to grow the space economy”.

The successful candidate will oversee the running of UKSA – an executive agency of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – and its £500m annual budget. They will develop and deliver complex space programmes, working closely with the Ministry of Defence and civil servants elsewhere in government.

“This is a high-profile international role with huge opportunity to shape the future of the UK’s contribution to the global space arena,” the job advert says.

As such, the successful candidate will need to be an “inspiring leader” who is able to develop strong relationships with ministers and people in the space industry, according to the candidate pack. They must also have the “proven ability to handle an intellectually challenging agenda that is high on the prime minister’s list of priorities” as well as to “deftly navigate political and industry dynamics”.

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The job specification also calls for strong commercial acumen, technical or scientific understanding of the space sector, and an “impressive” track record of delivering programmes across organisational boundaries within a technology-led, international environment.

Candidates will have to demonstrate experience of leading organisation though periods of significant change, “while at the same time strengthening the capabilities, productivity and effectiveness of the workforce”.

UKSA’s current chief executive, Graham Turnock, announced in January that he would step down this year after a four-year term.

He said that while it had been an “immense privilege to serve as UK Space Agency chief executive during one of the most exciting and challenging periods of the UK’s short space history”, it was time to look to “new horizons”.


About the author

Beckie Smith is acting deputy editor of PublicTechnology sister publication Civil Service World, where a version of this story first appeared. She tweets as @Beckie__Smith.


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