UK Export Finance (UKEF) has announced that Noel Harwerth will take over as its board chair, while the Department of International Trade (DIT) welcomes a majority female board.

Harwerth, who will succeed Guy Beringer, comes from a finance and mining background, with experience in emerging markets. She is the outgoing chairman of GE Capital Bank Europe and a non-executive director at Standard Life as well as the London Metal Exchange. She has previously held executive roles at Citigroup, Citicorp and Dun and Bradstreet.

Meanwhile, the DIT says it has appointed three new non-executive board members.

Director general of the Institute of Directors, Simon Walker, will be lead non-executive board member. He will be joined by CFO at Lloyds Bank Foundation, Julie Currie, who will chair the audit and risk committee and founder of DRPM Group, Pippa Malmgren, will provide an independent voice to the department.

Commenting on her new role Harwerth says: “I am excited to be taking on the role of chair of the UK Export Finance board at a very important time for UK trade. I look forward to helping it realise its ambitious mission.”

International trade secretary, Liam Fox, comments on the appointments: “The new board members will all be in place by January 2017 and will work closely with the secretary of state and ministerial team to assist the new department in delivering an effective long-term strategy for the UK’s trade policy.

“This is a significant milestone for the department and also for UK government as, for the first time in a central government department, the majority of its non-executive board members are women.”

Lawrence Weiss has also joined the UKEF board as a non-executive director and will serve as a member of UKEF’s audit and risk committee. Weiss was CEO of Bank Leumi UK from 2008 to 2014. Prior to that he held a number of senior positions in the oil division of Glencore.