Dr Vanessa Lawrence CB


Dr Vanessa Lawrence CB is working internationally as a senior advisor to governments, inter-governmental organisations including the World Bank and large private sector organisations. 

In addition, she is a Director of Location International Ltd which provides strategic advice and full operational capacity globally, to the public and private sector, as to how to gain from improving their own use of location information to enhance their decision-making and to meet the ever changing needs of their customers and stakeholders.  

Vanessa is the Honorary Colonel of 135 Geographic Squadron Royal Engineers, a Non-Executive Director of the Satellite Applications Catapult whose focus is fostering innovation in the use of satellite data, on the Advisory Group of the Urban Big Data Centre, a Trustee of the Winchester Science Centre and the Royal Geographical Society, Honorary Vice-President of the Geographical Association,  an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southampton and Visiting Professor at Kingston University and a Patron of the Cure Parkinson’s Trust and MapAction.

From 2000-2014, she held the post of Director General and CEO of Ordnance Survey, Britain’s National Mapping Authority and she was the advisor to the British Government for issues involving mapping, surveying and geographic information. She is the longest serving Director General and CEO of Ordnance Survey since 1875.

From 2011-2015, she was a founding co-chair of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM).  During her tenure UN-GGIM grew to having over 140 nations at Ministerial and Senior Official level involved.

Prior to joining the British Civil Service, she held senior commercial roles with the billion-dollar American software company, Autodesk and also the global media and publishing company, Pearson plc.