Sir Ian Wood (Chairman)
“I believe we all have an underlying responsibility in this world for each other. Philanthropy is more important than ever, and although we will never be able to sort out all of the world’s problems, we can try, and the impact of trying can be incredible.”
Born and educated in Aberdeen, Sir Ian Wood is a well-respected and influential global businessman. His career began in the North East fishing industry but he is best known for his work in the North Sea and international oil industry with Wood Group, serving as Chief Executive from 1967 to 2006 and as Chairman until 2012. He was the author of the Maximising Economic Recovery UK Report and, based on funds secured from the City Region Deal and the work of Opportunity North East (ONE), led the start-up of the Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC). OGTC was set up to help transition Aberdeen from an oil and gas operations centre to a global hub for energy related technology innovation and development.
Sir Ian remains Chairman of JW Holdings Limited, is the current Chancellor of Robert Gordon University, Chairman of Opportunity North East (ONE), established by the private sector to broaden and boost the economy of the NE of Scotland, and founding Chairman of OGTC. He also chaired the 2014 Commission on Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce.
Committed to the importance of philanthropy, Sir Ian Wood and his family established The Wood Foundation in 2007, where he is Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Applying venture philanthropy principles, there are 3 main streams where proactive, intelligent funding is directed – Developing Young People in Scotland, Making Markets Work for the Poor in Sub Saharan Africa, and Facilitating Economic and Education Development in Scotland. Sir Ian is passionate about philanthropy and continues to encourage other people to realise the impact they can have through effective giving – it doesn’t need to be money; time and/or knowledge can be just as powerful.
Recognising Sir Ian’s contributions, he was awarded the CBE in the 1982 New Year’s Honours List, a Knighthood in the 1994 New Year’s Honours List and a GBE (Knight Grand Cross) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2016. In 2018, he was formally installed as a Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle by Her Majesty the Queen.