Joan MacNaughton

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Joan MacNaughton - Civil servant

Joan MacNaughton is a former senior civil servant who was Director General of Energy at the former Department of Trade and Industry, Global Advisor Sustainable Policies at Alstom Power and member of the High Level Panel for the CDM Policy Dialogue.

She is currently and honorary fellow at Energy Institute, a member of policy, legal and regulatory steering group at GCCSI, a fellow at International Emissions Trading Association, executive chair of the World Energy Trilemma, World Energy Council, a trustee at The Climate Group, chair of the international advisory board at Energy Academy Europe and a member of advisory council at Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis.[1]

Described as having been "an influential figure in the energy and climate policy debate in a variety of UK, EU and international roles" MacNaughton was appointed President of the Energy Institute in July 2011. [2]


Joan MacNaughton joined the Home Office in 1972. She spent five years in the Prison Service, including a spell as Director of Prison Service Industries and Farms; Chief Executive of NDPB (the Police Information Technology Organisation) from July 1999 - December 2001 and Director-General, Policy in the Lord Chancellor's Department, responsible for civil, family and administrative justice.[3]

From January 2002 until December 2005 she was Director-General, Energy in the Department of Trade and Industry. In early 2003, MacNaughton oversaw the publication of the Government’s Energy White Paper. Also see Department of Trade and Industry.[4]

Government refuses to disclose meetings between DTI Ministers, Norris and MacNaughton

In the run up to the energy review MacNaughton would have been one of the most influential civial servants on the issue. The Government has refused to release details of meetings between DTI MInisters, MacNaughton and Geoffrey Norris, Blair's special adviser.

“The information you requested relating to meetings, during 2005 concerning nuclear power in the UK, between Geoffrey Norris, Tony Blair's special adviser on industry and business, and DTI ministers and/or Joan MacNaughton, including minutes, attendance lists and terms of reference is being withheld as it falls under the exemption in section 35(1)(a), (Formulation of Government Policy), of the Freedom of Information Act. In applying this exemption we have had to balance the public interest in withholding the information against the public interest in disclosing the information”.[5]

MacNaughton leaves as “too pro-nuclear”

The Energy Unit at the DTI was also seen as pro-nuclear. Until late 2005, Joan MacNaughton was its top official. She left “amid rumours she is being shifted for being seen as too pro-nuclear to head the government's energy review”.[6]

After leaving the Energy Unit, MacNaughton was the Director General of the International Energy Security section at the DTI.[7]

In 2007 she joined energy giant Alstom Power as its Senior Vice President, Environmental Policies and Global Advocacy, a position which she held until January 2012 when she became its Global Advisor. [1] The role was approved by ACOBA "subject to the condition that, for 12 months from her last day of service, she should not become personally involved in lobbying BERR Ministers or officials on behalf of her new employer"[8]

Quintain Estates

MacNaughton was also a non-executive director of Quintain Estates and Development PLC and Quitain Services Limited, according to records at Companies House, until January 2010. [1]Quitain Estates owns the land around the new National Stadium at Wembley and was involved in a massive regeneration project there. It was also involved in the transformation of the Millenium Dome.[9][10] Another non-executive director of Quintain Estates and Development is Barbara Thomas Judge, the chair of UKAEA.[11]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Joan MacNaughton CB, LinkedIn profile, undated, accessed 10 September 2012
  2. Energy Institute, EI appoints Joan MacNaughton as President, Media release dated 13/07/2011, accessed 10 September 2012
  3. MacNaughton Biography
  4. Energy Institute, Joan MacNaughton to Address EI Autumn Lunch Press Release, August 22, 2005.
  5. Aileen Boughen, Letter To Rich Cookson, March 28 2006
  6. Oliver Morgan, Pro-nuclear Mandarin 'Shifted' from Top Post, The Observer, December 11, 2005.
  7. Department of Trade and Industry Organisational Chart
  8. The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments Ninth Report 2006-2008 Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, accessed 6 November 2014
  9. The "New Wembley" Website
  10. Greenwich 2000 Website
  11. Quintain Estates and Development PLC Website, About Us