From volunteer to Chief Executive: Mark Dowie to lead the RNLI

Mark Dowie, the RNLI’s new Chief Executive. Photo: RNLI

The RNLI Board of Trustees has appointed Mark Dowie as the new Chief Executive of the RNLI. The current Chief Executive, Paul Boissier, who has been in post since 2009, is retiring and will hand over to Mark, on 15 May.

Mark Dowie is currently the Lifeboat Operations Manager at Salcombe RNLI in Devon, a voluntary role that proudly he has held since 2017. In his role as a Lifeboat Operations Manager, Mark has been responsible for all the operations of this busy lifeboat station, and so he has first-hand experience of leading and volunteering within the RNLI.

Mark also brings with him significant corporate leadership experience, having been a senior banking professional who was most recently Chief Executive Officer, Corporate and Institutional Banking, at Standard Chartered Bank. In this role he led the bank’s global wholesale banking business and was responsible for nearly 20,000 people in 62 countries around the world.

A former Royal Navy Officer, Mark served between 1982 and 1990, leaving the service at the rank of Lieutenant. During his time in the Royal Navy, Mark served on the helicopter carrier RFA Reliant and HMS Illustrious.

In addition, Mark has owned and managed a successful marine services company before taking the role at Standard Chartered. He is a former Justice of the Peace, Trustee of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and Vice Chairman and Trustee of the Britannia Association. He has also provided leadership and financial support to youth charities in south London and a school and orphanage in Kenya.

Mark said, “I am absolutely delighted and proud to have been appointed as the RNLI’s new Chief Executive. Having been an RNLI volunteer on the coast for the past two years, I know just what a unique and special organisation this charity is. I’ve seen first-hand the dedication and commitment of the RNLI’s volunteers and staff to help save lives and keep people safe. I can also clearly see how I can support the RNLI to ensure we are in good shape as we reach our 200th birthday in 2024 and to get us in even better shape for the next 200 years.”

Stuart Popham, RNLI Chair, said, “I am thrilled that Mark has a range of impressive attributes and experience that he will bring to the role, including valuable experience as an RNLI volunteer. He has a wealth of leadership experience and a real affinity for the sea. I for one am really looking forward to working with Mark. I am extremely confident that he will be a huge asset to the RNLI.”