Stephen joined the EPO in January 2019 as Vice-President for DG1 – Patent Grant Process. He is responsible for the entire Patent Grant Process, from the receiving of applications up to and including opposition and the grant of the patent. This area also includes Quality and Business and User Services. Located in The Hague, Steve Rowan is Site Manager for the branch of the EPO, which is the largest international organization in the Netherlands. Before joining the EPO, Stephen Rowan held a number of senior leadership roles in the Intellectual Property Office of the United Kingdom. These included the position of Director of Registered Rights, responsible for the end to end processing of patent, trademark and design applications and the associated tribunal functions. Stephen joined the UK IPO in March 1991 and, in addition to his operational roles, sat as a Principal Hearing Officer and worked on a range of policy issues covering industrial property and copyright. He was Head of the UK Delegation to the Beijing and Marrakesh Diplomatic Conferences and was seconded to the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit (2004) and HM Treasury (2006) - working on the Gowers Review of IP. He has an LLB (Hons) from the University of the West of England.