The Environment Agency has appointed Brian O’Neill from the
Engineering Council to the post of director in a newly-enlarged
corporate affairs department.
In his new role O’Neill will head a team of 40 in Bristol and London,
covering public affairs, media relations, publishing, new media, events
and the work of the agency’s eight regional PR teams.
The brief of the corporate affairs department will also expand under his
stewardship to include Parliamentary affairs and national and
international relations - with local authorities in the UK and European
bodies - for the first time.
A spokesperson said: ’The Environmental Agency is moving to develop a
more influential role. We believe environmental thinking needs to be at
the heart of everyone’s work and we need to influence a broad range of
thinking on the subject. Brian will have a key part in this.’
O’Neill will also work closely with the agency’s chairman Sir John
Harman, who has taken a keen interest in this initiative.
’Another key challenge for him will be to maximise the use we make of
new media in our publishing activities,’ the spokesperson continued.
O’Neill takes over from Miles Wilson who has been in the post since the
agency was founded in 1996. Wilson will remain within the agency. He
heads a special project team looking at educating businesses on how
improved environmental management can actually deliver benefits to the
O’Neill will also be a member of the agency’s directors’ group sharing
responsibility for the strategic development and management of all
aspects of the business, which has an annual budget of pounds 600
O’Neill, a former journalist, has previously worked for The Royal
Society for the Prevention of Accidents and the United Kingdom Atomic
He joined the Engineering Council where he was director of public
affairs in 1996. In his new job he will report to chief executive Ed
The Environment Agency is a non-departmental government body with
responsibilities for protection and improvement of the environment in
England and Wales.
It employs 10,000 staff, including those who are actively involved with
improving water and air quality.