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During a 25 year career in international upstream oil and gas with Shell, Dr Carmichael held positions on a range of projects in Nigeria, Bangladesh, UAE, Thailand, Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and elsewhere. Latterly Dr. Carmichael was based in Central Asia as the General Manager for Shell's business development portfolio in Central Asia.

Neil also served as Shell’s Country Chairman for Azerbaijan and for Turkmenistan, responsible for overall commercial and government relations in those countries. He started his career with BPs Scicon subsidiary working on mathematical modelling and signal processing. He then joined Intercomp Inc. (now part of Baker Hughes), a consultancy firm, as a Petroleum Engineer.

Since leaving Shell in 2010, Dr. Carmichael has been involved in a charity startup, the Fair Trade Software Foundation - which helps create software development jobs in Africa - as well as Pacific Green's growing business. His academic years led to a PhD in Mathematics (1982, University of Warwick).