Dame Rotha Johnston appointed Chair of leading Northern Ireland electricity utility

Dame Rotha Johnston has been appointed non-executive Chair of the Board of Northern Ireland Electricity Networks (NIE Networks), effective from March 2020.

A widely respected figure amongst the business community in Northern Ireland, Rotha has held a non-executive director position with the company since 2011, in parallel to a number of other strategic positions, including her current roles as a member of the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Council and Chairperson of Northern Ireland Screen, and her former role as Pro-Chancellor for Queen’s University Belfast.

Speaking ahead of taking up her post, Rotha outlined some of the priorities she would be leading on over the coming years.

“I’ve already had the opportunity to contribute to shaping the direction and ethos of NIE Networks as a Board member over the last nine years and I would like to pay tribute to Stephen Kingon for his effective leadership to the Board and NIE Networks over his nine years as Chair.  I am delighted to now take up this position.

“We are at a pivotal juncture in the future of energy in Northern Ireland. With an ambitious target set of achieving a net zero carbon economy by 2050, NIE Networks will play a fundamental role in meeting that target and it will be a privilege to lead the next phase of the journey.”

Rotha’s first engagement as Chair of NIE Networks will see her represent the company as a speaker at the IoD NI Women’s Leadership Conference which takes place on Friday 6th March in Belfast.

“NIE Networks has made great strides in attracting and retaining female talent into the business over the last decade, both at entry and senior level and has just been awarded the Bronze Diversity Charter Mark for gender.  

“The decarbonisation agenda means roles of the future are going to be very different and NIE Networks offers a dynamic career choice across both engineering and professional support roles.  So it is an exciting time for those interested in STEM subjects and a career within the energy industry.  Continuing the work to attract diverse talent into the company will be another key focus.”
Paul Stapleton, Managing Director of NIE Networks, took the opportunity to acknowledge the great leadership shown by both the outgoing and incoming chair.

“Rotha Johnston has been a valuable Board member over the last nine years and we look forward to her leadership as Chair in helping NIE Networks to deliver benefits for all our customers today in tandem with planning for the future.

“Rotha succeeds Stephen Kingon who will step down in early March as non-executive Chair. On behalf of the Board and the Company, I would like to thank Stephen for his huge contribution and commitment in successfully steering NIE Networks over the last nine years.”

Further information about NIE Networks' Board.