Regional President, Asia-Pacific
Richard Freer is the regional president, Asia-Pacific, for Bechtel. In this role, Richard works with governments and supports the regional business development efforts for the company’s global business units. Prior to his current position, he led Bechtel’s international nuclear, security, and environmental business, based in London.
Richard joined Bechtel in 2013 managing technical programs on the Hanford Waste Treatment Plant project in Washington state. Later, he served as the Shared Services manager on the Pile Fuel Cladding Silo project at Sellafield U.K. He led the Bechtel team that supported implementation of the First Principles Review for the Australian Department of Defence, and he moved on to be the country manager, Hong Kong, for Bechtel.
Prior to joining Bechtel, Richard had a 25-year career in the U.K. Civil Service. After a number of scientific and policy appointments, he played a central role in the 1997-1998 Strategic Defence Review before going on to spend 18 months as a political adviser with the NATO Stabilisation Force in Bosnia. After spending time as the head of Operational Policy at the Permanent Joint Headquarters, as a political adviser in Afghanistan, and as private secretary to the Chief Scientific Adviser, Richard was the lead author of the 2006 white paper on the Future of the U.K.’s Nuclear Deterrent. After a further posting to the Permanent Joint Headquarters and a secondment as head of the Defence and Security Policy team in the Cabinet Office, Richard served as the defence private secretary in 10 Downing Street. Later, he was appointed as defence and foreign policy adviser in the Number 10 Policy Unit, during which time he played a key role in the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review.
In the 2000 New Year’s Honours List, Richard was awarded the Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty the Queen for Services to Defence. Richard holds a doctorate in physical chemistry and a master’s in chemistry from Oxford University.