Baroness Fairhead CBE was the Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion at the Department for International Trade (DIT) from October 2017 to May 2019.
As a former Business Ambassador for UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) with a strong background in global business, Baroness Fairhead brings a wealth of business and economic experience to the department.
Rona was chairman of the BBC Trust from 2014 to 2017. Prior to this, she was chairman and CEO of the Financial Times Group from 2006 to 2013. She also led Pearson professional education. She had previously been CFO of Pearson plc from 2002.
Prior to Pearson, Rona held senior executive roles in ICI plc and Bombardier Inc. primarily with Shorts in Northern Ireland. Her early career began in the 1980s with Bain and Company.
In 2012 she received a CBE for Services to Industry.
Rona’s non-executive roles include HSBC Holdings plc from 2004 to 2016 and PepsiCo from 2014 until her ministerial appointment.
In her other public service role, she served as a non-executive director of the UK Cabinet Office.
She is an Honorary Doctor of Teesside University and Queen’s University, Belfast and an Honorary Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge.
Rona was educated in state schools in the north of England before attending St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, graduating with a double first in Law. She later obtained a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
Rona is married with 3 children.