Lesley Batchelor, director general of the Institute of Export (IOE), has been appointed Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in her birthday honours, for services to Business.
An IOE graduate member, Lesley’s career spanned over 15 years with blue-chip giants including Fujitsu Europe, Ciba-Geigy Pharmaceuticals and Coca-Cola Europe before launching her own consultancy, CMC Marketing, in 1992.
After a three year elected tenure as chair and CEO, Lesley was appointed director general in 2010 – and has since shaped policy and decision making at the highest levels.
Innovating and launching initiatives to boost the UK’s exporting drive and economic recovery, the director general has transformed the charity into a progressive organisation which is now a recognised Ofqual awarding body with a suite of qualifications ranging from NVQ Level 1 for 16 year olds to a Master’s Degree. This year the IOE marks a 100 per cent increase in students signing up to its courses.
Lesley is an active member of the APPG Advisory Panel on Trade and Investment has given evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on Government support for SMEs – and been a key witness at the Lords’ Select Committee on Soft Power and the UK’s influence.
“I am truly honoured and humbled with this prestigious accolade and would like to thank our valued members, strategic partners and alliances. An enormous ‘thank you’ also goes to our committed and hard-working team, who work tirelessly to embed professionalism into international trade by guiding and supporting UK SMEs seeking to broaden their export horizons and harness the wealth of opportunities in international trade.”
Lesley’s string of achievements includes spearheading and commissioning the annual International Trade Survey and bringing together 20 organisations to create the multi award-winning business resource GURU online. The director general is also a member of the Open to Export board and a member of the judging panel for the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.