John Bell
Director at the European Commission's Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, Healthy Planet Directorate

Dr John Bell is the European Commission’s ‘Healthy Planet” Director leading DG Research & Innovation policy transitions on Climate Change, Bioeconomy, Food Systems, Environment, Biodiversity, Water, Circular Economy, Oceans and the European Green Deal.

He leads the EU’s €10 billion Horizon Europe Research & Innovation programme across these planetary transitions. As Chair of the EU Governing Board of €2 billion Circular Bio-based Europe institutionalised partnership with industry, he leads the deployment of the EU Bioeconomy Strategy.  

He is co-leading one of the EC’s moonshot Green Deal “Missions”: “Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030”. His commitment to international research and innovation cooperation ranges from the All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance, Arctic cooperation, International Bioeconomy Forum, Mediterranean Water Agriculture PRIMA and African Union Food and Nutrition Security.

A native of Dublin, Ireland, he was educated at University College Dublin, as the first Anglo Irish Banks scholar specialising in Irish studies (MA).  As a Foreign Commonwealth Office Scholar at St John's College, Oxford University, he completed his Doctorate (D. Phil.) on Irish Nationalism and Seamus Heaney. He was awarded Doctor Honoris Causa by the Agriculture University of Plovdiv in 2022.