Mark Butler

Executive Director



Mark Butler is a partner and executive director of GGI and convenor of the National Commission on the future of governance in the public sector, funded by GGI.

Mark is a national expert in cultural and organisational transformation, specialising in governance reviews, place-based and system governance, board development, public and staff engagement, and investigations. With an appetite for complex problem solving and new thinking, Mark also leads GGI’s work on new products and practice.

Before joining GGI, Mark held chief executive, chair and senior leadership roles in health, higher education, the arts, and national government. He was a visiting fellow at the University of Stirling for ten years and on the advisory board for the Edinburgh Napier Business School for five years.

At GGI, Mark has pioneered new approaches to formal reviews, which allow leaders to drive cultural and governance development while meeting regulatory requirements. This includes the national maturity matrix used in 25 GGI reviews of universities and the added value approach to well-led reviews now used across all types of NHS trusts.

Mark was one of the youngest chief executives in the NHS, guiding Worcester Royal Infirmary’s whole hospital new build PFI project to completion. He also served as a board director at the University Hospitals Birmingham. Before this, he won both the Health Service Journal award and the RIPA/HAY award for managerial innovation for the involvement of the public in the design of the new Derbyshire Children’s Hospital.

As one of the most senior civil servants in Scotland, Mark served as both director of human resources for the NHS and led on public sector reform in the Performance and Innovation Unit, the Scottish equivalent to No 10’s Strategy Unit.

He subsequently joined the University of St Andrews as its secretary and registrar before establishing The People Organisation, an organisational development consultancy, and Fontis, a social enterprise dedicated to public engagement and involvement.

Mark served as a member of UK Pay Review Body for Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration and as non-executive director on national bodies including the NHS Centre for Involvement, the Scottish Leadership Foundation, and the UK Welfare to Work Taskforce.

In 2016 he co-authored Trusted to Care, an investigation into the abuse of patients in Wales commissioned by the Welsh Government, which led to significant change in acute care. In 2014, he spent time in Washington developing the strategy and international governance structure for a leading US-based charity.

Among his publications are numerous articles for People Management and The NewOld, and most recently as co-author of a chapter in Governing Higher Education Today: International perspectives published in April 2019 by Routledge.
Mark is an Oxford modern history graduate who holds two post-graduate qualifications. He is also a qualified mediator.