Office for Nuclear Regulation

ONR Board

The ONR Board's role is to provide leadership, set strategy, agree the overarching policy framework within which we operate as a regulator, agree and monitor resources and performance and ensure good governance. The Board is chaired by Mark McAllister under the terms of our framework document.

Members are:


Mark McAllister

Mark McAllister

ONR Chair

Mark McAllister was appointed as Chair of ONR in April 2019. Having taken up the post as Chair of Ofgem on 6 November 2023, he will step down as ONR Chair on 31 December 2023. He is an engineer by profession, and has worked in the international oil industry since graduating from St John’s  College Cambridge in 1979.

Mark has held Chief Executive positions at several companies including Acorn Oil and Gas, Fairfield Energy and Shandong Twin Marine Limited.

He served as Chairman of Oil Spill Response and Prevention Advisory Group (OSPRAG) which formulated the joint response of the North Sea oil industry, trade unions and government to the Macondo blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.

He has helped pioneer a new marine heavy-lift technology aimed at ensuring the safe and efficient removal of large offshore oil and gas platforms.

In 2009, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Technology from Robert Gordon’s University in recognition of services to the oil industry.

Mark is currently Chair of the Oasis Charitable Trust, a multi-national charity employing over 4,000 staff. He is also a Member of the Public Chairs’ Forum Management Committee.

Jean Llewellyn OBE

Jean Llewellyn OBEJean Llewellyn joined the ONR Board on 1 October 2020, initially for a three year term; Jean has since been re-appointed for a second term to 30 September 2025 and is the Chair ONR's Security Committee. Jean was the founder and Chief Executive of the UK National Skills Academy for Nuclear (NSAN) for its first 10 years. This followed a career involving senior management, leadership and policy development roles in the private and public sector. In 2018 she was appointed as a Non-Executive Director on the Board of the World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS).

Jean was actively involved in UK nuclear policy through her membership of the Government's Nuclear Industry Council and as Chair of the Nuclear Energy Skills Alliance. These partnerships worked to ensure the highest standards of safety and security across the UK nuclear programme.

In 2011 Jean was awarded an OBE in recognition of her services to the Energy Industry and she was appointed as an Honorary Fellow of the Nuclear Institute in 2010. In 2019 she was awarded the Honour of 'Chevalier de l'Ordre national du Mérite' in recognition of her collaborative work between the UK and France on nuclear skills development.

Tracey Matthews

Tracey Matthews

Tracey was appointed on 1 June 2020 for a five year term. Tracey has spent much of her career working in the utilities sector with United Utilities Plc. and gained extensive Operational and Asset Management experience, culminating as General Manager Network Operations providing multi utility services for 7 million customers in the North West of England. Tracey was Transition Manager for the first water industry operations outsourcing contract involving Welsh Water and United Utilities Plc., with Welsh Water moving from seventh to first in the OFWAT regulatory ranking.

From 2004 to 2006, as Head of Programme Delivery, Tracey was responsible for the delivery of Scotland's £2.3bn water and wastewater capital infrastructure programmes. She managed this delivery programme through a seven-partner Joint Venture organisation with Scottish Water. The unique nature and success of the Joint Venture has been recognised through numerous industry, customer, stakeholder and environmental awards.

Tracey now balances a non-executive and independent consultant portfolio. Her consulting work is focused on business development and programme management mainly in energy and infrastructure sectors. She has previously held Non-Executive roles with Highways Agency, Office of Rail and Road, UK Coal Ltd, and was the Chairman of AGT Ltd. Currently she is the Independent Chair for Scottish and Southern Electricity's RIIO-2 Enhanced Engagement Group, Board member of Energy and Utility Skills Group and Non-Executive Director with Transport for Greater Manchester, as well as the Audit and Risk Committee Independent member at the University of Sheffield.  She has a BSc in Chemistry.

Sarika Patel

Sarika Patel

Sarika Patel joined the ONR Board in October 2017, initially for a five year term; Sarika has since been re-appointed for a second term to 30 September 2027. Sarika brings to the Board significant commercial and leadership experience in the public and private sectors, both nationally and internationally.

Sarika Patel is a business leader with nearly 30 years of public and private organisational experience. Sarika is a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Marketer, and is also a graduate in law.
Sarika has a number of non-executive positions in her portfolio. She is chair of Action for Children and of Aberdeen Equity Investment Trust. She is a Non-Executive Director and chairs the Audit committees at SEEIT plc, and the Foresight Sustainable Forestry Co plc.

Her previous non-exec roles include being a Commissioner at the Gambling Commission where she chaired the Audit, Risk and Assurance committee, being the Chair of the Audit committee at Sequoia Economic Infrastructure Income Fund Limited, being on the Board of Imperial Healthcare Trust, and member of the Court, University of Greenwich.

Sarika chairs the ONR Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.

Dr Janet Wilson

Janet Wilson

Janet was appointed on 1 April 2020 for a five year term. Janet has spent the majority of her career to-date working in the nuclear sector (public and private both civil and defence) at senior and executive level with an expert interest in areas of organisational development, nuclear safety, security, environment, non-proliferation and policing (armed response).

She has been a member of both the Civil Nuclear Police Authority and the Government Committee on Radioactive Waste Management.

She is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, a Freeman of the City of London, is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Engineers, and has a PhD in nuclear reactor safety.

In May 2021 she was appointed as an Honorary Professor of the Nuclear Futures Institute of Bangor University. Followed by an appointment as a Member of Royce Institute's Strategic Science Board for Nuclear Materials in October 2022.

Dame Sue Gray DBE CB

Dame Susan Gray DBE CB

Dame Sue joined the Office for Nuclear Regulation Board on 1 February 2023 for a period of 12 months to fill an existing vacancy whilst a permanent replacement is recruited.

Sue was Director General (CEO) of the Defence Safety Authority from March 2019 to January 2022, leading the regulation and assurance of military equipment and activity across Air, Land and Sea.

Prior to assuming her appointment in March 2019, she was Air Officer Commanding 38 Group Royal Air Force (RAF) between 2016 and 2019 at Headquarters Air Command. She  led over 2,000 personnel supporting UK military deployments worldwide, providing highly specialized cadres of Engineers, Logisticians, Communications experts and Medical specialists. She was Head of the RAF Engineer profession, recruiting, developing and maintaining safe working practices for over 15,000 technical staff. She was also responsible for developing the strategic plan for the RAF's Estate, both capital projects and routine maintenance activity.

Previous appointments include operational tours in Northern Ireland and Iraq, followed by a series of progressively senior roles in Defence Equipment and Support,  procuring aviation equipment and support. Most recently Sue was Group Director of a division responsible for delivering key aircraft capability programmes and support services with the help of 800 personnel and a £1.8Bn annual budget.

A passionate STEM advocate and mentor, Sue is also a Trustee of the Royal Academy of Engineering.


Mark Foy

Mark Foy

Chief Executive & Chief Nuclear Inspector

Mark was appointed Chief Executive and Chief Nuclear Inspector of the United Kingdom’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) from 1 June 2021 having been ONR’s Chief Nuclear Inspector since 2017.

He is an Executive Board member of the ONR and acts as Regulatory Head to provide independent authoritative expert advice on nuclear safety, security and safeguards to the ONR Board, Ministers and Parliament.

During the last 20 years he has successfully led ONR’s regulation across various sectors of the nuclear industry, securing improvements in safety and security performance. 

Mark has 35 years’ experience of the UK’s civil and defence nuclear industry, combined with extensive international experience, having undertaken various senior roles within the international regulatory community. He provides authoritative leadership and insight on nuclear safety and its regulation.

Mark is a Chartered Fellow of the UK’s Nuclear Institute and has an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Sarah High

Sarah High

Deputy Chief Executive

Sarah graduated from the University of Durham in 1993 with a Geography degree and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1998, working in the PwC Greater London Public Sector Audit and Advisory division until relocating to the North West in 2000.

Sarah joined BAE SYSTEMS as an Internal Audit Manager and business advisor to the Operations business in 2000 before moving to EDS in January 2002 to a senior management accounting finance role supporting the DWP account. She joined the Civil Service (DWP) in May 2004 and held a variety of senior positions in the Department including Head of Commercial Support, Deputy Director of Finance (DCS), Head of Finance Policy and Practice (Resource Account lead), Head of DWP Business Intelligence, Senior Finance Business Partner for Pensions and Operational Excellence Directorates and Head of Finance Profession Capability.

Sarah joined the organisation as our Finance Director in June 2016, taking on the additional role of Deputy Chief Executive in August 2020. Sarah was appointed to the permanent role of Deputy Chief Executive from 01 April 2021.

Donald Urquhart

Donald Urquhart

Executive Director of Regulation and Deputy Chief Nuclear Inspector

Donald has worked in the UK nuclear industry for more than 30 years and has extensive experience as a successful senior industry leader, regulatory leader and nuclear safety professional. During his career he has worked across the defence, civil operations, decommissioning and nuclear new build sectors, making notable contributions to each.

Having most recently held the appointment of Director of ONRs Operating Facilities Division, Donald has since been appointed to the recently created post of Executive Director Operations. In this capacity, he has assumed responsibility for the day to day leadership of ONRs regulation of the UK Nuclear Industry.

Within ONR, Donald has held a range of senior regulatory appointments: as Director of ONR’s Operating Facilities division, as Director of it’s Cross ONR division, as Head of ONR’s Emergency Planning and Response team, as Head of Radioactive Materials Transport regulation, and as ONR lead for delivery of the Generic Design Assessment of Hitachi’s UK-ABWR reactor design. He has also, in the more distant past, held a wide range of site inspector and project delivery lead roles.

Donald has an honours degree in Physics, and master’s degrees in Medical Physics/ Radiation Protection and Business Administration. He is a long-standing Member of the Society of Radiological Protection and is a Chartered Radiation Physicist.

Geoff Hawker

Geoff Hawker

Finance Director

Geoff joined the Public Sector in 2010 as an IT Senior Finance Business Partner for DWP and became the Deputy Finance Director for DWP Digital in 2013.  In 2017 he joined the Department for Transport as their Group Head of Financial Accounting and Control, supporting their key Arm’s Length Bodies including: Network Rail; Highways England, and HS2.  In 2020, Geoff re-joined DWP as their Head of European Social Fund for England, leading and managing a large, geographically dispersed team to deliver a £3bn employment and skills programme to support the most disadvantaged people in Society.  

Pre-2010, Geoff worked in senior commercial finance roles in the Private Sector, including four years with Barclays Bank, supporting their IT Division and since Jan 2020, he supports the Third Sector on the Board of Trustees for the Citizens Advice, Halton. 

Geoff has an honours degree in Accounting & Finance from Manchester University and is a CIMA qualified accountant.  His work passions are: making a difference; driving change; building capability, and empowering people to grow.