Non-Executive Director

Professor David Drewry

Board and Finance Committee Member, UK National Commission for UNESCO Board of Directors.

Home       >       Expert Network       >       Non-Executive Directors

David Drewry is a world leading expert on the environment and study of the polar region, his experience includes Director of both the British Antarctic Survey and the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University.

Holding a Doctorate in Geophysics from Cambridge University, Professor Drewry’s key research interests lie in the environmental sciences and global climate change, where he has published three books and more than 100 research papers (including in Nature and Science). Amongst his vast experience in academia, he has been Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hull between 1999 and 2009, and was previously Director of Science and Technology at the UK Natural Environment Research Council.

David has served on the UN’s Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, is Honorary Fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge University, Trustee Emeritus at the Natural History Museum, London and recently completed eight years as Vice-President of the European University Association.

He holds Honorary Degrees from several British universities; was awarded the Polar Medal, United States Antarctic Service Medal, Prix de la Belgica Gold Medal of the Belgian Academy of Sciences and Patron’s Gold Medal of the RGS. He also has a mountain and a glacier named after him in Antarctica.


University of Cambridge
Honorary Fellow (Emmanuel College)

From 1984


Queen Mary College, BSc. University of Cambridge, PhD.

1969 – 1974

Role at UNESCO

Director of Natural Sciences, UK National Commission for UNESCO – Board of Directors

Since 2017

“I am a geophysicist and have operated in the wider arena of the environment and science policy having worked in and headed research institutes, governmental and multi-national agencies, and universities. I have particular interests in global climate change, marine pollution and the polar regions. I spent many years undertaking research in the Arctic and Antarctic that established my profound belief in the value of international cooperation in science and technology.”

Professor David Drewry

Liaising with the UK’s Permanent Delegation to UNESCO and approved by HM government, our Non-Executive Directors help steer the direction of the UK National Commission for UNESCO, and are each responsible for overseeing a particular field of UNESCO’s work in the UK.


David Drewry is a member of the UK National Commission for UNESCO’s Board of Directors, specialising in Natural Sciences and European Research Policy. He is also a member of the Finance Committee.


UK National Commission for UNESCO
Board Member, Natural Sciences Specialist

FROM 2017

European University Association
Vice-President, Chair Research Policy Working Group

FROM 2009 -2017

University of Hull
Vice Chancellor

FROM 1999 – 2009

Natural Environment Research Council
Deputy Chief Executive, Director of Science and Technology

FROM 1994 – 1997

Role at UNESCO

Member of the UK National Commission for UNESCO’s Board of Directors, Natural Sciences Specialist

SINCE 2018


The UK National Commission for UNESCO


UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) is the United Nations body responsible for coordinating international cooperation in education, science, culture and communication. The UKNC is a hub for all UNESCO-related matters in the UK, and the Board of Directors take part in formulating and regularly reviewing the strategic aims of the commission.