Dr Leinster will be joining Cranfield in October from the Environment Agency where he has been Chief Executive since 2008.  He is leaving his current role in September.

Dr Leinster will support Cranfield’s established offer in the green economy in the energy, environmental technology and agrifood sectors and will bring a wealth of experience in better regulation and strategic environmental monitoring and assessment.

He will play a lead role in the development of a strategic new area at Cranfield, the Centre for Atmospheric Informatics and Emissions Technology, and increase Cranfield’s research expertise and impact in environmental technology.

Professor Sir Peter Gregson, Cranfield’s Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Paul to Cranfield. He is respected around the world for the thought leadership he brings to environmental regulation.  It is a great pleasure to have Paul’s expertise accessible to our partners and learners as we advance our thinking on the green economy.”

Paul Leinster commented: “I am delighted to be joining Cranfield this autumn at what is an exciting time in its development. I have been a long-term admirer of Cranfield’s research and its real world focus. I look forward to working with colleagues across the University to further strengthen its reputation in environmental research.”

Professor Ian Boyd, Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), adds: “Paul has been a passionate supporter of intelligence-led environmental monitoring and assessment and I am pleased that he will be joining the team at Cranfield to develop its thinking and research around environmental assessment.”

Paul takes up the post in October 2015 and will work closely with Professor Simon Pollard, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Energy, Environment and Agrifood, and Professor Elise Cartmell, Director of Environmental Technology.

Cranfield’s excellence in energy, environmental technology and agrifood is recognised internationally.  The University’s environment activities include centres of excellence in environmental risk and futures, and in water science. The new Centre for Atmospheric Informatics and Emissions Technology is a collaboration between Cranfield and the Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements, a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) funded facility. The University has achieved certification to the International Environmental Management System Standard ISO 14001 across its Cranfield campus.

Notes for editors

About Dr Paul Leinster

Dr Paul Leinster was appointed Chief Executive of the Environment Agency in 2008.  He joined the Environment Agency as Director of Environmental Protection in 1998 and was also Director of Operations before becoming Chief Executive.  

Before that, Paul worked for SmithKline Beecham, BP International, Thomson MTS and Schering Agrochemicals.

In January this year, it was announced that he was retiring from the Environment Agency after 17 years.

Paul has a degree in Chemistry and a PhD in environmental engineering from Imperial College.  He is an alumnus of Cranfield University, having been awarded an MBA from Cranfield School of Management in 1991.  

He was awarded a CBE in 2008.  Paul is a fellow of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

About Cranfield University

Cranfield University is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.


About Cranfield University

Cranfield University is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.


Agrifood at Cranfield

Agrifood has been a key strategic theme at Cranfield University for over 40 years. We have internationally recognised expertise across both domestic and international food supply chains from primary food production, inputs - soil, plants and water, through to point of sale, waste reduction and applied informatics.

Students work closely with our partners in industry, Government or the NGO sector. We understand our clients’ challenges because more than 80% of the University’s business comes from sources other than Government. Most of our academic staff have spent considerable portions of their career in industry or Government, and are especially solution-oriented. We delight in assembling pan-University teams of experts from across our skill sets, often in collaboration with other Universities, and consultants, to meet challenges that fall outside the conventional academic disciplines.