Director General

Dr Catherine Raines FRSA MoID


Dr Catherine Raines was appointed as Chief Executive of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) on 7 September 2015 and, upon the formation of the Department for International Trade, became Director General of International Trade and Investment. She continued to lead the government’s global organisation that delivers advice, support, advocacy and promotion to facilitate UK trade and investment worldwide until 2 October 2017, when she took on leadership of the internal departmental review into Exports Supply.

Catherine was previously Minister and Director-General, UKTI China, a position she held since April 2013, after a 25 year career in both the public and private sectors. In this role she led an organisational transformation that saw UK Business outcomes grow 10-fold (from c. £300 million pa to almost £4 billion pa) in 2 years.

Catherine has FTSE 10 experience spanning more than 20 years, including previous periods spent living and working in the UK, USA, Sweden and China. Her early experience was in international production and programme management; later moving into global, corporate leadership roles.

She has variously held roles as Global Head of Supply (Respiratory), Global Head of Corporate Audit and Vice President Corporate Development (China) for AstraZeneca. In the latter role, based in Shanghai, she chaired the cross-functional group that oversaw the move of AstraZeneca’s global functions into China and led investment into Shanghai real estate of over $200 million.

Prior to joining UKTI, Catherine was Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Place at Staffordshire County Council, where she successfully undertook the transformation of an organisation of over 5,000 people, in the process propelling the county to the top of the 2011/12 UK leader board for jobs created through inward investment. This included a £355 million inward investment in the UK from Tata, India, creating over 3,000 jobs for Jaguar Land Rover. During this period, Catherine worked closely with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and HM Treasury (HMT) on the local growth agenda.

In the UK Catherine has held non-executive Board positions at Pinewood Group plc, HM Land Registry and the Criminal Records Bureau. She was a non-executive trustee on the Board of the Whitehall Industry Group and sat on the national steering group for Association of Directors of Economy, Environment, Planning and Transport (ADEPT).

In 2016 Catherine was named by the Sunday Times as one of the top 500 Most Influential People in the UK.

In 2017, she was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of the University (hon. causa) from Keele University for her local, national and international contribution to trade and investment in both the public and private sectors, and for championing diversity in all its forms.

Previous roles in government

  1. Director General, International Trade & Investment

    • 2016 to 2017
  2. Chief Executive, UK Trade & Investment

    • 2015 to 2016