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Director of the Climate Governance Initiative awarded an OBE

Alexandra Bolton has been appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the King’s Birthday Honours 2024, for services to the built and natural environment.

From 2017 to 2022, Alexandra was Executive Director of the Centre for Digital Built Britain, a partnership between the UK Government Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the University of Cambridge. It sought to understand how the construction and infrastructure sectors can use a digital approach to better design, build, operate and integrate the built environment. The Centre’s founding mission was ‘to develop and demonstrate policy and practical insights that will enable the exploitation of new and emerging technologies, data and analytics to enhance the natural and built environment, thereby driving up commercial competitiveness and productivity, as well as citizen quality of life and well-being.’  

Alexandra also served as Deputy Head of the National Digital Twin programme, an ambitious programme to enable an ecosystem of connected digital twins across the built environment, and the founding home of the UK’s Digital Twin Hub. A digital twin is a virtual representation of an object in the real world, with a two-way connection between them.

Alexandra now heads the Climate Governance Initiative, which supports board directors all over the world to steer their organisations to reduce carbon emissions. The Initiative was founded by the World Economic Forum in 2019, and is based at Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge.

The Climate Governance Initiative works with Chairs and Non-Executive Directors, and through its growing network of 32 Chapters, has a presence in 73 countries, covering over one third of global CO2 emissions.

Alexandra studied Chemical Engineering at Newnham College, Cambridge, and went on to study for a Postgraduate Certificate in Law.  In 2019 she was named as one of Computer Weekly‘s UKTech50 – their annual list of the most influential leaders in the UK technology sector.

Alexandra Bolton OBE said: 

“This wonderful and humbling recognition makes me in turn recognise the talented people who, throughout my career, have selflessly given me support, guidance and advice. I am enormously grateful for the honour, and for all those who have helped me along the way.”

Professor Andy Neely OBE FREng, Founding Director of CDBB and formerly Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, said:

“Alexandra played an essential role in the Centre for Digital Built Britain. She provided important leadership in setting the Centre up and ensuring that it delivered on its mission to enhance the way that digital technologies are used in construction. Without her insight and leadership, the Centre for Digital Built Britain would never have made the contribution it did.”

Mark Enzer OBE FREng, former Head of the National Digital Twin programme, said:

“It is fantastic news that Alexandra’s amazing contribution to the built and natural environment is being recognised in such a meaningful and public way.  It has been a huge privilege to see Alexandra’s wholehearted commitment to improving outcomes for people and nature.”

Julie Baddeley, Chair of the Governing Board of the Climate Governance Initiative, said:

“Many congratulations to Alexandra on this terrific recognition. I am delighted that she has brought her passion, talent and experience to the Climate Governance Initiative, working with colleagues around the world on the defining challenge of our age.”

Laurie Bristow, President of Hughes Hall, said:

“Our warmest congratulations to Alexandra for this recognition of her work. It is great that she is now working with Hughes Hall where she leads the Climate Governance Initiative. We are very proud of our College and our people; it is their commitment to changing the world for the better that makes Hughes Hall and Cambridge such an inspiring place to study and work.”

Centre for Digital Built Britain website (archived):

Climate Governance Initiative website: