Lord Kerr of Kinlochard (Chairman 2005 - 2011took up the post of Chairman of Court and Council in January 2005. "To work for Imperial is a huge honour," said Lord Kerr. "They are, and will stay, second to none."

Born in Scotland in 1942, John Kerr, joined the UK Diplomatic Service in 1966. His early career was spent principally on politico-military issues, including in the Embassies in Moscow and Washington, and on economic issues, including Development in Pakistan. He was seconded to the Treasury from 1979 to 1984, worked on early privatisations, and became Principal Private Secretary to two Chancellors of the Exchequer. From 1987 to 1990 he was the Foreign Office's European Community Under-Secretary, and from 1990 to 1995 was UK Permanent Representative to the European Union.

In 1995 he returned to Washington as Ambassador, and from 1997 to 2002, back in London, was Head of the Diplomatic Service and FCO Permanent Under-Secretary of State, the first member of the Service to hold its three top jobs. His tenure as Permanent Under-Secretary saw the return of a British ambassador to Iran, the establishment of an Embassy in North Korea, and the re-opening of the embassy in Libya. In 2000 he became the most senior UK official to visit Tripoli since 1984.

On leaving the FCO he held the international appointment of Secretary-General of the European Convention, chaired by President Giscard D'Estaing, which prepared the EU Constitutional Treaty. He became an (independent) member of the House of Lords in 2004, and serves on its EU Select Committee. A Director of Shell since 2002, he chaired the group who instigated the unification with Royal Dutch, and has been Deputy Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell plc since 2005. He is also on the Boards of Rio Tinto and the Scottish American Investment Trust.