Board member of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee

Body: Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC)
Appointing Department: Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Sector: Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Location: National
Skills required: Business / Commercial, Change Management, Legal / Judicial, Regulation
Number of Vacancies: 2
Remuneration: £9,836 per annum
Time Requirements: 2.5 days per month


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

Defra Ministers have appointed Catherine Denholm, Rosie Hails and Tom Meagher as Board Members of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC).

The appointments were made in conjunction with the devolved administrations, and are for a three-year term from 4 April 2022 to 3 April 2025.

The new appointments have all been made in accordance with the Ministerial Governance Code on Public Appointments published by the Cabinet Office. Appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.

Date: 28/03/2022

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    16/09/2021 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement

    28/03/2022 at 16:00

Vacancy Description

Independent members of the Joint Committee contribute to the Committee’s work in providing UK Government and the Devolved Administrations, with effective support for their evidence needs and policies for nature conservation across the UK and internationally. Independent members need to understand the natural environment and its vital importance to everyone including its contribution to improving outcomes for the economy and for society on a sustainable basis. This will include an understanding on the latest thinking and implementation around natural capital, ecosystem services and natural resource management.

Independent members need to promote a positive and constructive relationship with a wide range of stakeholders including Defra, Devolved Administrations, the UK Country Nature Conservation Bodies, and other public bodies operating in the environmental field, including other Government Departments and international institutions. The JNCC has a key role in working with the UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, and with a wide range of non-government organisations and other interest groups both within the UK and internationally.

The JNCC was established in the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act (2006) as a non-departmental public body. Independent members are expected to take a full and active role in the governance of JNCC, appropriate to a non-executive board. This involves providing support to the Chair of the JNCC in holding the executive to account for achieving work programmes agreed in annual business plans and delivering good value for money. Independent members will also assist the Chair in overseeing the executive’s delivery of the 2016 JNCC Review in effecting operational changes to the way JNCC delivers advice and evidence to customers. A part of this work will involve independent members being able to identify new opportunities for JNCC to diversify its income while continuing to deliver on its core evidence and advisory functions for the UK Government and Devolved Administrations.

Independent members provide a valuable source of expertise to ensure that the scientific methods and approaches underpinning JNCC’s advice and evidence are robust and appropriate for the needs of customers. Members also take a longer-term strategic view to position the organisation to make optimal use of modern technological, computational, and scientific advances including the social sciences. Given the breadth of JNCC’s work in the terrestrial, freshwater, and marine environments, these include but are not restricted to advances in data and IT, modelling and statistics, earth observation and remote sensing. An understanding on the latest thinking and implementation around natural capital, ecosystem services and natural resource management is important.

The JNCC is accountable to the four government administrations in the UK. It is important for independent members, together with country conservation body representatives, to develop an understanding of legislative and policy approaches used across the UK.

Person Specification

• Knowledge and expertise in a field relevant to the work of JNCC (eg natural, environmental, social, terrestrial, or marine sciences).

• Proven ability to provide strategic oversight, impartial advice, and constructive challenge to ensure that JNCC provides high-quality, cost effective evidence and advice.

• Knowledge of organisational transformation, change management and financial governance in the private, public or voluntary sector.

• A demonstrable commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

Successful candidates should be able to demonstrate experience and effective delivery at a senior level in one of the following areas:

• Conservation science: the ability to provide advice on nature conservation science and on the underpinning principles relating to nature conservation domestically and internationally.

• UK, EU and international legislation and policy: the ability to provide advice on the opportunities and challenges for UK and international nature conservation presented by EU exit.

• Data management and information: the ability to provide advice on the integration, analysis, curation of data, and communication of information related to nature conservation.

• Business change management: the ability to advise on the need for and the management of, change in business delivery for JNCC while continuing to maintain a high-quality service to the UK Government and Devolved Administrations.

Additional Information

We actively encourage applications from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. Defra is a Disability Confident employer.

How to Apply

All candidates are required to complete the following forms:

• Monitoring form 1 (Political Activity and Conflict of Interest Questionnaire)

• Monitoring form 2 (Diversity Monitoring Questionnaire)

Candidates should submit their CV with education, professional qualifications and employment history and the names and contact details for two referees, together with their statement of suitability.

The statement of suitability should give evidence of the strength and depth of your ability to meet the essential criteria for this role. Please provide specific examples to demonstrate how you meet each of the criteria (max two pages please).

Your CV and statement should be returned by the closing date: Midday on 16 September 2021. Please send your application to: quoting reference APPT04-21.

For further information please email:

1_JNCC Candidate pack
2_Monitoring form 1 (Conflicts of interest conduct and advertising Questionnaire)
3_Monitoring form 2 (Diversity Questionnaire)
4_Public Appointments Guidance Notes
5_Public Appointments Privacy Notice
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