View as PDF

From coastal volunteer to Chief Executive: The RNLI appoints its new leader

Lifeboats News Release

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has today – Wednesday 6 March 2019 – announced that its new Chief Executive will be Mark Dowie.

Mark Dowie stood on board Salcombe RNLI's Tamar class lifeboat

RNLI/Salcombe RNLI

Mark Dowie on Salcombe RNLI's all-weather lifeboat

Mark is currently the Lifeboat Operations Manager at Salcombe RNLI in Devon, a voluntary role that he has held proudly since 2017, and will take up the post of Chief Executive of the lifesaving charity on Wednesday 15 May 2019.

In his role as a Lifeboat Operations Manager, Mark has been responsible for all the operations of a busy lifeboat station, and so he has first-hand experience of leading and volunteering within the RNLI.

Mark brings with him significant corporate leadership experience, having been a senior banking professional who was most recently Chief Executive Officer, Corporate & Institutional Banking, at Standard Chartered Bank. In this role he led the bank’s global wholesale banking business and was responsible for nearly 20,000 people in 62 countries around the world.

A former Royal Navy Supply Officer, Mark served between 1982 and 1990, leaving the service at the rank of Lieutenant. During his time in the Royal Navy, Mark served on the helicopter carrier RFA Reliant and HMS Illustrious.

In addition, Mark has owned and managed a successful marine services company and served as a magistrate in Devon. He is a keen sailor and a gyrocopter pilot.

Mark is also a trustee of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) and has provided leadership and financial support to youth charities in south London and a school and orphanage in Kenya.

Mark said: ‘I am delighted and incredibly proud to have been appointed as the RNLI’s new chief executive.

‘Having been an RNLI volunteer on the coast for the past two years, I know just what an incredible organisation this charity is. I’ve seen first-hand the dedication and commitment of the RNLI’s volunteers and staff to help save lives and keep people safe.’

Stuart Popham, Chairman of the RNLI, said: ‘I’m delighted to announce Mark Dowie as the RNLI’s new chief executive.

‘Mark has a range of impressive attributes and experience that he will bring to the role, including valuable experience as an RNLI volunteer.

‘He has a wealth of corporate leadership experience and a real affinity for the sea. I’m looking forward to working with Mark and am extremely confident that he will be a huge asset to the RNLI.

‘I’d also like to profusely thank our current Chief Executive, Paul Boissier, for his magnificent contribution over the last decade. He will leave the RNLI having achieved so much.’

The RNLI’s current chief executive, Paul Boissier, has been in post since 2009 and will leave the RNLI on Wednesday 15 May.


Notes to editors

  • Mark is not available for media interviews.


RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact Luke Blissett, RNLI National Media Manager, on 01202 336497/ luke_blissett@rnli.org.uk. Alternatively, call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or email pressoffice@rnli.org.uk.

Mark Dowie stood on the side of Salcombe RNLI's Tamar class lifeboat

RNLI/Salcombe RNLI

Mark Dowie

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.

Categories