McKinsey partner Stuart Shilson to chair St John Ambulance

14 April 2022 3 min. read
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A partner with global strategy giant McKinsey & Company has been named as the new Chair of St John Ambulance. Stuart Shilson brings decades of public and private sector experience to the role, having previously held senior civil service positions.

St John Ambulance is the name of a number of affiliated organisations in different countries which teach and provide first aid and emergency medical services, and are primarily staffed by volunteers. In England, St John Ambulance is registered as a charitable company, with its Registered Office at St John's Gate, St John’s Lane, London.

As the organisation continues to play a prominent role in public health, St John Ambulance has installed a new Chair. After a rigorous external selection process, Stuart Shilson’s name was submitted to The Duke of Gloucester, for royal approval.

McKinsey Partner Stuart Shilson to chair St John Ambulance

With the appointment now confirmed, St John’s Chancellor, Mick Messinger, commented, “Stuart’s knowledge of governance and leadership, his deep understanding of St John and his vision for St John Ambulance as an organisation with a clear mission in the service of humanity impressed the entire panel. We look forward to welcoming him as Prior in the coming months.”

Shilson is a Senior Partner in McKinsey & Company’s London office, where he helps to lead the firm’s global capital projects and infrastructure practice – alongside its strategy practice in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Recent McKinsey work has included helping a large transport company to improve margins through pricing, network and service rationalisation, engineering efficiency, procurement, contractor management and capital optimisation, and transforming a multinational energy company through re-thinking its corporate strategy, supporting a substantial merger, and helping improve individual business units and functions.

“I am delighted to have been chosen as Prior of England and the Islands and as Chair of St John Ambulance. I will continue to serve the St John organisation to the best of my abilities,” Shilson stated. “I know this role brings with it a tremendous opportunity to lead one of the nation’s most treasured charities, and one that has given so much, with such selflessness, through this pandemic.”

Prior to his time with McKinsey, Shilson also spent five years as a commercial barrister. In 1999, he spent a year as a senior civil servant for the British government. He also served for a number of years as an Assistant Private Secretary to The Queen.

As well as this, he has over 20 years of service within St John. He is still a Bailiff Grand Cross of the Order, and was previously a member of its worldwide governing body. As Sub-Prior of the Order internationally, he helped establish an innovative maternal and neonatal care programme in sub-Saharan Africa. He will be retiring as Vice Chair of British Red Cross during April and is a serving Deputy Lieutenant for Greater London.

Looking ahead, St John Ambulance Chief Executive, Martin Houghton-Brown, added, “I’m looking forward to the prospect of working with Stuart as our new Chair and my new boss! I have already had the opportunity to meet with him and his dedication to our mission, the difference we can make as a charity and our desire to build a supportive welcoming community really inspired me. I know we will all enjoy making him feel welcome and demonstrating our incredible work across this wonderful charity.”