Aisling Burnand MBE began her career in media relations, working mostly in the private sector. She headed international media relations for Rhône-Poulenc and was a director at the Rowland Company. She joined the BioIndustry Association (BIA) as its first director of public affairs in 1998, before becoming chief executive in 2003. At the BIA she championed UK biosciences, leading on issues including regenerative medicine and animals in research. In 2007 Aisling received an MBE for services to science.
She joined Cancer Research UK in 2009, where she was executive director of policy and public affairs. During her tenure the charity secured the implementation of point of sale legislation preventing children from viewing cigarettes in shops, and the Sunbeds Act to protect young people from the dangers of sunbeds.
Since 2012 Aisling has run a coaching practice providing support for senior leaders in business. In addition, Aisling is a trustee for the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) and a school governor.