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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Dr Vanessa Lawrence

Adjunct Professor

Dr Vanessa Lawrence's photo

Dr Vanessa Lawrence is Adjunct Professor within Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Southampton.

Dr Vanessa Lawrence CB, HonFREng, FRGS, FRSGS, FRICS, FCInstCES, CCMI, CGeog is the former Director General and Chief Executive of Ordnance Survey and the former Secretary General of Ordnance Survey International Ltd; she was in post for 14 years and is the longest serving Director General of Ordnance Survey since 1875. Prior to joining the Civil Service, she held senior commercial development roles with the billion dollar American software company, Autodesk and also the global media and publishing company, Pearson plc.

Today, Vanessa is working internationally as an advisor, speaker, chair and special contributor to a number of significant bodies including as the co-Chair of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM). In addition, Vanessa is the Honorary Colonel of 135 Squadron Royal Engineers, whose role is to provide geospatial support to the UK military; as well as being a Visiting Professor at the University of Southampton and at Kingston University.

Vanessa has been elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and is one of the few recipients of the Scottish Geographical Medal, a prestigious award conferred only occasionally since 1890 by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. In addition, she has eight Honorary Doctorate degrees and is an Honorary Fellow of University College London. She was named South-East Director of the Year in 2008 by the Institute of Directors and in January 2011, Vanessa was awarded the Global GeoSpatial Personality of the Decade 2000–2010.

In January 2008, Vanessa was appointed as a Companion of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (CB) in the Queen’s New Year Honours List.

Dr Vanessa Lawrence
Building 44 University of Southampton University Road Southampton SO17 1BJ
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