Ian Jenks

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Ian has more than 30 years of board-level experience in the industrial technology industry and has served as chief executive officer of companies operating in the United States and Europe. Ian was formerly the president of Uniphase Inc, Chairman of Oplink Communications Inc which he took public on the NASDAQ and spent seven years as a partner of Crescendo Ventures llp. Ian founded and since August 2010 has acted as the CEO of Ian Jenks Limited, a consulting company providing consulting services to companies in the industrial technology industry. Ian has been a director of Techstep ASA, a provider of managed mobile services in the Nordics, Paysafe plc., an international provider of payment processing services, and Brady plc, a provider of commodity trading software. He also has served and continues to serve as a director of a number of private companies. Ian received a B.Sc. in Aeronautical Engineering from Bristol University.

Robert Bahns

Chief Financial Officer and Director

Robert has over 25 years’ experience working with technology start-ups both as an investor and in operational roles. He joined SmartKem in February 2020 and was previously CFO of one of his previous portfolio companies, WaveOptics, which develops components for AR displays. This company was recently acquired by SNAP for more than $500m. Prior to that, Robert was an investment partner at Imperial Innovations Ltd (acquired by IP Group plc in 2017) for fourteen years where he was involved in investing across a range of early-stage technology businesses and took on many board positions. Early in his career, Robert worked for seven years in Japan in a technical role with one of the leading consumer electronics companies.

Klaas de Boer


Klaas de Boer has served as a member of SmartKem’s board of directors since the Closing of the Exchange. Klaas has been a venture capitalist for more than 20 years, and has served as the Managing Partner of Entrepreneurs Fund Management LLP, a venture capital firm, since January 2008. In that capacity he served on numerous boards, including Lifeline Scientific Inc. and Heliocentris Energy Solutions AG. He currently chairs AIM listed Xeros Technology Group plc, and General Fusion, Inc., and serves on the boards of vasopharm GmbH and D3O Holdings Ltd. Klaas received his M.Sc. degree in Applied Physics from Delft University of Technology and his M.B.A. from INSEAD.

Steven P. DenBaars


Dr. Steven P. DenBaars is a Professor of Materials and Electrical and Computer Engineering as well as the Executive Director of the Solid State Lighting and Energy Electronics Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara. During his tenure he has helped pioneer the development of III-Nitride semiconductors for solid state lighting, micro-LED displays, UV photonics, power switching, and RF electronics. Steven has previously worked at the Hewlett-Packard Optoelectronics team, contributing to R&D in the growth and fabrication of visible LEDs. He has been a Director on the Board of several startup companies which include Soraa Laser Diode, Akoustis Technologies and Aeluma Inc. Steven has a BSc. in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Arizona, a M.Sc. with Honors in the field of Materials Science, and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California. Steven is a fellow of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). He has authored or co-authored over 1200 technical publications, 350 conference presentations, and over 200 patents.

Barbra Keck


Barbra Keck has served as a member of our board of directors since the Closing of the Exchange. Since February 2021, Barbra has served as the Chief Financial Officer of Deverra Therapeutics, Inc., a developer of cell therapies. From January 2009 until May 2020, she held positions of increasing responsibility at Delcath Systems, Inc., an interventional oncology company, starting as Controller and ultimately becoming a senior vice president in March 2015 and chief financial officer in February 2017. Barbra received an M.B.A. in Accountancy from Baruch College and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Dayton.