Ian Byatt was born in 1932 in Preston, Lancashire. He was educated at Kirkham Grammar School, St. Edmund Hall and Nuffield Colleges Oxford, and Harvard University. He taught Economics at the Durham Colleges in the University of Durham from 1958 to 1962 and at the London School of Economics from1964 to 1967. He was an Economic Adviser in the Economic Section of HM Treasury from 1962 to 1964. He became Senior Economic Adviser at the Department for Education and Science in 1967, Director of Economics at the Ministry of Housing and Local Government in 1969 and Director of Economics at the newly formed Department of the Environment in 1970. He rejoined the Treasury in 1972 as head of the Public Sector Analytic Unit, becoming Deputy Chief Economic Adviser from 1978 to 1989. In 1989 he was appointed Director General of Water Services (Ofwat) to regulate the newly privatised water companies, serving until 2000. He was subsequently appointed Chairman of the Water Commission for Scotland where he served from 2005 to 2011. He became a Senior Associate at Frontier Economics in 2001. He is currently (appointed 2014) an Independent non-Executive at RSM Audit UK and a member of its Public Interest Committee.