Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew - Trustee

Body: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Appointing Department: Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Sectors: Business, Finance & Skills, Charity & Public Sector, Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, International
Location: London
Skills required: Accountancy, Audit and Risk, International Experience, Major Projects
Number of Vacancies: 3
Remuneration: The role is unremunerated. Essential expenses comprising travel, accommodation if required, and subsistence are payable based on Kew’s expenses arrangements, which are set out in Kew’s Guidance on Financial Policy and Practice.
Time Requirements: 10-12 days each year


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

Defra Ministers have appointed three new Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens (RGB), Kew. Steve Almond, Kate Priestman and John Scanlon’s three-year terms commenced on 1 April 2022.

The appointments were made in accordance with the Governance Code on Public Appointments published by the Cabinet Office. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.

Dame Amelia Fawcett, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said:

I am delighted to welcome Steve, Kate and John to the Board of Trustees. They all bring strong and diverse expertise and experience to the Board, and I very much look forward to working with them.

This is an important time for Kew, as we build on our highly impactful presence at COP26, deliver our ambitious Manifesto for Change and new Science Strategy and continue to play a major role globally in addressing the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.

RBG Kew became an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body under the National Heritage Act 1983 with exempt charitable status and is sponsored by Defra. The Board of Trustees comprises a Chairman and 11 other members.

Date: 12/04/2022

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    01/11/2021 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement

    12/04/2022 at 10:00


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

To complement its existing skills and knowledge the Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is seeking up to three new members with either: expertise in finance/audit, expertise in equality, diversity and inclusion, expertise in the Government/public sector, and/or experience of working internationally. The current Board membership is attached at “Annex C – Current membership of the Board” on page 17.

Members of the Board have corporate responsibility for ensuring that RBG Kew has appropriate practices, procedures and policies to meet its statutory and administrative requirements for the use of public funds.

Important responsibilities of Board members include:

• ensuring that high standards of corporate governance are observed at all times;

• establishing the overall strategic direction of the organisation within the policy and resources framework agreed with the Defra Minister;

• holding the Executive to account and supporting them in the delivery of planned results by monitoring performance against agreed strategic objectives and targets and by ensuring corrective action is taken when necessary;

• ensuring that the Board operates within the limits of its statutory authority; within the limits of the Board’s delegated authority agreed with Defra and in line with all relevant agreements with Defra, including any conditions relating to the use of public funds; and, notwithstanding the above, complying with the relevant obligations incumbent on trustees of an exempt charity, including independence of decision-making;

• representing the purpose and strategic direction of the organisation to the public and specific stakeholders;

• promoting a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion on the Board as well as more widely in RBG Kew.

The successful candidate must abide by the Nolan principles of public service and the 12 Principles of Governance for all Public Body NEDs (attached at Annex A and Annex B) and the Code of Conduct for Board members.

Person Specification

The Secretary of State is seeking to attract high-calibre applicants from a range of diverse backgrounds who can discharge the full range of Trustee responsibilities. Candidates must be able to demonstrate all of the following essential criteria:

• an enthusiasm for, and genuine interest in the work delivered by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and support of its purpose, values and strategic direction

• an ability to analyse issues at a strategic level in ways which are impartial, creative and focused on finding solutions

• an ability to provide constructive and independent leadership, challenge and support to the Board of a complex organisation

• exceptional communication skills, along with the ability to influence, engage, and inspire confidence across a strong and diverse network of stakeholders, both nationally and internationally

• a demonstrable commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion


This recruitment will seek to fill three vacancies on the Board. Successful candidates for these vacancies should also be able to demonstrate expertise in one or more of the following specified areas:

Financial/Audit: Individuals with senior financial and/or audit experience, including experience of serving on an Audit and Risk Committee and/or Finance Committee for a complex organisation.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion/Outreach: RBG Kew’s Manifesto for Change includes ‘Extend our Reach’ as one of five strategic priorities and in order to meet this ambition, we are looking for an outstanding individual with experience of leading equality, diversity and inclusion/outreach within a complex organisation.

Government/public sector: RBG Kew works closely with Government and the public sector and we are seeking applications from individuals who are familiar with working within this environment.

Global/international perspective: RBG Kew’s work is at the heart of global efforts to prevent biodiversity loss, including operations and partnerships in c100 countries. International experience and a global perspective on the Board is essential, including for outreach to non-UK philanthropic institutions and individuals.

We are looking, as part of this recruitment, to find trustees who will chair our Finance and Resources Committee and our Audit and Risk Committee.

Additional Information

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

How to Apply

To apply, please send:

• Completed monitoring form 1 (Conflicts of Interest conduct and advertising form)

• Completed monitoring form 2 (Diversity Questionnaire)

• a CV of no more than two sides of A4;

• a supporting statement of no more than 1,000 words, setting out how you meet the essential criteria – make sure you refer to the contents of this document and provide specific examples. Please also detail your area(s) of expertise as outlined in the Essential criteria and expertise section;

• e-mail addresses for two referees

Your CV, statement and monitoring forms should be returned to the following address by the closing date:12.00 (midday) on 1 November. Email to quoting reference APPT03-21

If you have any questions about the appointments process please email the Public Appointments Team at

For an informal discussion about the role please contact Balwinder Allen, Kew Board Secretary on

1_Trustees candidate pack 2021
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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