Defra Chooses New Chief Executive of Cefas

Following the retirement of Mike Waldock in June of this year, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has appointed Rear Admiral Tom Karsten as the Chief Executive of Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas). Karsten takes up the role, on leaving the Royal Navy, from 7th September.

Karsten has a broad maritime background with command roles in the South Atlantic, Far East, Gulf and Mediterranean. In 2007 he was promoted to Commodore serving as Navy Command’s Deputy Commander Operations. This was followed by a year at Oxford University as the Royal Navy’s Senior Hudson Fellow researching Arctic geopolitics. In 2010 he was appointed as Commander British Forces Gibraltar, serving on the Rock for two years. Promoted to Rear Admiral in December 2012, he is currently the UK National Hydrographer and Deputy CEO at the UK Hydrographic Office where he leads a wide-ranging international engagement and capacity building programme alongside extensive commercial negotiations for the supply of global hydrographic data.

Karsten said: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining Cefas at a key stage in its development. In particular, I am much looking forward to the opportunity to grow Cefas’ business both in UK and overseas and to raising its profile as the UK’s leading marine science agency.

The recruitment process was led by Betsy Bassis, Director General and Chief Operating Officer at Defra. Betsy said:

”I am delighted to appoint Tom Karsten as Chief Executive of Cefas. Tom brings with him a wealth of operational and commercial experience that will be critical in delivering Cefas’ strategic growth plans. The Cefas Board and I look forward to welcoming Tom in September. ”

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