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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

Alison’s career spans over 20 years in sustainability and the regulated water industry at the private and public interface, championing the interests of both the environment and citizens. An egalitarian leader, she is passionate about inclusion and ensuring that diversity of thought is used to its fullest effect. Alison is focused on effective strategy, decision-making and behaviour change for the good of society and the environment


Alison established her own consultancy in 2014 and is currently serving her second term as Independent Chair of SES Water’s Environmental Scrutiny Panel, reporting to the CEO. In this role she leads a panel of industry and stakeholder experts to challenge the Board and Executive on environmental ambition and performance whilst ensuring the voice of the customer is heard.

Prior to this, Alison has held two senior Non Executive public appointments. Most recently as Deputy Chair, an Environment Agency appointee, for the Southern Regional Flood and Coastal Committee and Chair of its Programme and Investment Committee. She also served a term as a Non Executive Consumer Advocate for the Consumer Council for Water (CCW), working with all the water companies in the South East to champion current and future water customers in the face of our changing climate.

Her wider Board experience includes education. She Chaired a Board of Governors for Micheldever Primary School and provided strategic leadership for two primary schools as Vice-Chair of the Dever Valley Federation. She also served as Non Executive Director of Change Agents UK, a charity providing sustainability education and skills training to young people to empower them in the workplace.

Alison's executive career began running the private office of Lord Puttnam at the House of Lords. Subsequently it has involved strategy and policy roles with Chime Communications Group, the Environment Agency, and National Parks England, before consulting with clients such as Anglian Water and VisitEngland. She is a Fellow of Forum for the Future, a Member of Chapter Zero and Member of Women on Boards. She holds a Masters in Sustainable Development and a Masters in Responsible Tourism and speaks Spanish.

 Alison  Thompson
Independent Chair, SES Water’s Environmental Scrutiny Panel
Director, Welcome Innovation Ltd.