Sir David King is an Affiliate Partner of SYSTEMIQ, the corporate and government sustainability advisory firm.
He has held a number of senior international government roles over the past 18 years. Most recently, from 2013 until 2017, David was the UK Government Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative on Climate Change, working with 165 Climate Change Attachés in UK Embassies. At the same time he was also the Chair of the Future Cities Catapult, which aims to advance urban innovation.
From 2008 until 2012 David was a member of the President’s Advisory Council, Rwanda, and Science Advisor to UBS. He also served as Founding Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University at this time.
From 2000 until 2007 David was the UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser, raising awareness of the need for governments to act on climate change. He was instrumental in creating the Energy Technologies Institute, a public-private partnership between global energy and engineering companies and the UK Government. He also created an in-depth Futures process which advised Government on a wide range of long-term issues, ranging from flooding to obesity.
David was born in Durban, South Africa and educated at St John’s College, Johannesburg. He attended Witwatersrand University, graduating in Chemistry and later obtaining a PhD. David has subsequently received 23 Honorary Degrees from universities around the world. He was Head of the Department of Chemistry and the Master of Downing College at the University of Cambridge, UK. He has published over 500 papers on surface science and catalysis and on science and policy.
David was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1991 and became a Foreign Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2002. He was knighted in 2003 and was made “Officier dans l’ordre national de la Légion d’Honeur” by the President of France in 2009.