Richard Burge

Richard David Arthur Burge is the chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce.

Richard David Arthur Burge (born 5 April 1958) is the chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce. Previously he has had a career in the not-for-profit industry and government sectors, having held chief executive roles in various organizations since 1995. He has also intermittently had portfolio careers and run his own companies.



Early life and education

Burge was born in Hong Kong. His father Arthur Vincent Burge was a serving officer with the Royal Engineers, and his mother was Elsie (Rae) Burge (nee Kimberley).

After primary school in Cardiff and north London (where his father was posted), he went in 1969 to Haberdashers' Adams Grammar School in Newport Shropshire. Burge went to Hatfield College, Durham University from 1977-80, the first member of his family to go to university.


Burge taught biology at King Edward’s School Witley (1980-83) and then went to Sri Lanka as a Commonwealth Scholar until 1986.

Burge joined the British Council in June 1986 where he served in the Overseas Career Service for ten years.  He was Assistant Representative in Lagos Nigeria until March 1990, then had a series of posts in the UK ending up as Head of Africa and Middle East Operations for three years until September 1995.

Senior appointments

Burge was the first Director General of the Zoological Society of London from 1995 to 1999. He was noted by journalists and the government of London as being responsible for saving the London Zoo from bankruptcy during his time as Director General. He then was given the position of Chief executive of the Countryside Alliance under the chairmanship of John Jackson until 2003. He then spent some time in private business working until being appointed as Chief Executive of Wilton Park (an FCO executive agency) from 2009 to 2017. He was then chief executive of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council until 2019.  In February 2020, he became chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Private sector

From 2003-09, Burge had a portfolio of part-time paid appointments.  He was Strategy Director for the African Parks Foundation and a Commissioner for Rural Communities. He is the founding partner of ESG Validation.


According to Burge's LinkedIn profile, his vision is as follows: 

“I work on international and global affairs, trade and development, and in social impact investment and the use of innovative technology.  I am focused on London's place as a world city, and on the business opportunities that creates across the capital. For me, global citizenship is not just a personal commitment, it is a necessary and purposeful direction of travel so as to create prosperity in a sustainable and fairer world.”

Recognition and Awards
Burge has served a trustee and Board member of a number of charities and not-for-profit organizations including the Iwokrama Rainforest Research Centre, the Association of Chief Executives in the Voluntary Sector (ACEVO), The Association of Chief Executives (of government executive agencies), the European Zoo Association, the Council of Durham University (including chair of the University Ethics Committee, Vice Chair of Bridewell Royal Hospital (King Edward’s School Witley), a Commissioner for Commonwealth Scholarships, trustee of the Television Trust for the Environment, and chair of the Global Health Assurance Partnership (based in Geneva), and Treasurer of St John-at-Hackney in London. He is currently a Trustee of VERTIC, a Court Assistant of the Worshipful Company of World Traders, an has been chair of Council at Hatfield College Durham University for 10 years.

Richard Burge
London, United Kingdom
Known for
Trustee of VERTIC, a Court Assistant of the Worshipful Company of World Traders, Chair of Council at Hatfield College Durham University for 10 years
Durham University
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