Navy Board

The Navy Board is the body responsible for running the Royal Navy.

Members are responsible for assisting the First Sea Lord in discharging his responsibilities as Head of Service and RN Top Level Budget Holder. Principal among these is to ensure that the Navy is fit to fight and can deliver the military capability required to defend the UK and its interests.

The Navy Board meets six times a year, or more often as required, and comprises the following members:

First Sea Lord & Chief of Naval Staff: Admiral Sir Ben Key KCB CBE

The First Sea Lord is the professional head of the Royal Navy and is responsible for developing and generating a balanced and integrated RN capability, and for maintaining the fighting effectiveness, efficiency and morale of the Service.

Second Sea Lord and Deputy Chief of Naval Staff: Vice Admiral Martin Connell CBE

The Second Sea Lord is responsible for the delivery of the Naval Service’s current and future personnel, equipment and infrastructure.

Fleet Commander: Vice Admiral Andrew Burns CB OBE

The Fleet Commander is responsible for the provision of ships, submarines and maritime aircraft required to support mandated maritime operations.

Director Strategy and Policy: Rear Admiral Anthony Rimington

Director Strategy and Policy acts as the First Sea Lord's Chief Executive, working to identify and drive the Board’s strategic objectives.

Finance Director (Navy): Sarah Davies

The Finance Director is the First Sea Lord’s principal adviser on financial issues and is also the Civilian Workforce Adviser, leading on implementation of civilian workforce policy.

Second Permanent Under Secretary: Mr Laurence Lee

Laurence became the Second Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence in May 2021. Laurence joined Defence from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. He has served overseas in Afghanistan and the Caribbean and has held a wide variety of policy roles including on Counter Terrorism and hostile states. He has worked in finance, strategic planning, change management, and on the last two Spending Reviews. He became a Director General in 2017 and led work on China and security policy.

Laurence’s portfolio as Second Permanent Secretary includes Defence’s Transformation work, Science and Technology, Digital Transformation, and establishing the Secretary of State’s new Office of Net Assessment and Challenge (SONAC).


Non Executive Directors

The Non-Executive Directors provide an external challenge perspective to the Board’s business.

Mr Chris Weston

Chris Weston was most recently Chief Executive of Aggreko where he served for 7 years, leaving at the end of 2021 following the company being taken private. Prior to this role, Chris was Managing Director, International Downstream at Centrica plc, where he was the Executive Director responsible for the Group’s largest division. In this role Chris was operationally responsible for both British Gas in the UK and Direct Energy in the USA. He joined Centrica in 2001 after a successful career in the telecoms industry, working for both Cable & Wireless and One.Tel. Before that, Chris served in the Royal Artillery. He has a BSc in Applied Science, as well as an MBA and PhD from Imperial College London.

Chris joined the Board of the Royal Navy as a Non-Executive Director on 1 January 2017 and is also a Non-Executive Director of the home builder Barratt Development.

Dr Brian Gilvary

Brian Gilvary is executive Chairman of Ineos Energy.  Prior to this he served on the Board of BP plc as Chief Financial Officer from 2012- 2020.  Prior to CFO, he held several senior financial and commercial roles, including member of the Board of TNK-BP (a BP Russian JV), Chief Executive of BP’s commodity trading division and Commercial Director of the downstream division.  He has acted as BP’s principal negotiator on a series of large transactions and complex legal matters.


Brian is currently the senior independent director of Barclays plc , the Francis Crick Institute and  Chairman of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

Brian served as Chairman of the FTSE100 Group of Finance Directors from 2018-20, was a member of the UK Treasury Financial Management Review Board from 2014 to 2017 and served on various HRH Prince of Wales’ Business in the Community Leadership Teams from 2007 to 2009.


Brian holds a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Manchester where he is an Honorary visiting Professor, and an Honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Sheffield.  He is also a Fellow of the Energy Institute.  Brian has also represented Great Britain Triathlon at the last 5 Age Group World Championships (2015-19).

Lance Batchelor

Lance Batchelor (Lead NED): Lance is the Chairman of several Private Equity and Venture Capital owned businesses, including and Reed & Mackay. He was previously the CEO of Saga Plc (2014-20) and before that Domino's Pizza Group Plc (2011-14) and Tesco Mobile (2006-11). He is the former Global Marketing GM of in Seattle and Corporate marketing Director of Tesco Plc.


Lance has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BSc from Aberystwyth University. His first career was as a Royal Navy submariner. He was previously a Trustee of the National Gallery (2011-19), a Prime Ministerial appointment. 

Auriol Stevens 

Auriol is currently Vice President, Workplace Experience at Kyndryl where her role is to create a seamless employee experience, in the office or remote, by bringing together collaboration environments & devices for c.90,000 employees worldwide. With close to 20 years in the technology and innovation industry, prior to joining Kyndryl, Auriol was Global IT Director, Employee Experience Digital Workplace at Unilever. She has also been CEO of Inogesis, a collaboration platform connecting emerging technologies with blue-chip organisations to drive new revenues and solve complex business and a Director of Tech Merchant Bank, Restoration Partners.

Having pursued a degree in Law, Auriol is a great advocate of consumer rights and the importance of the application of technology and having diverse employees and suppliers in meeting the needs of customers. This is reflected in her being a member of the Unilever Data Ethics Committee and a keen mentor.

Auriol is a member of a variety of external board and committees, including SPRITE+ (Security, Privacy, Identity & Trust), Board Director for Restoration Partners Ltd. and Deputy Chair, Advisory Board, Institute for Security Science & Technology, Imperial College.