Alan Gemmell OBE


Alan Gemmell 2

Alan Gemmell joined the Board of Trustees at Cumberland Lodge in October 2019, as Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Enterprise Investment Council (CWEIC), based at Marlborough House and Guildhall in the City of London. In June 2020, he was appointed Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for South Asia and the British Deputy High Commissioner for Western India, and is currently based in India.

Prior to joining the CWEIC, Alan was Director of the British Council in India and Minister (Cultural Affairs). He led an operation of 600 staff, with 14 offices in nine cities across India and a turnover in excess of £80 million. Under Alan’s leadership, the British Council in India diversified its income with significant growth in customers, new commercial partnerships and contracts with state governments across India. It also increased its focus on digital and mobile products and services, aimed at India’s ‘millennial’ generation.

Alan had previously transformed the British Council’s activity in Israel, raising £7m and running a £10m stem-cell research fund, as well as creating the UK’s first multilateral research programme to tackle water issues in the region. He has also worked in Brazil, London, and Mexico with the British Council. 

Before joining the British Council, Alan worked in UK Government roles, including managing COBRA, the UK’s crisis-response to domestic and international terrorism, and on developing the economic migration routes of the UK’s points-based migration system.

Alan was appointed OBE in the 2016 New Year’s Honours list, for his services to the arts and science.