Body: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Appointing Department: Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Sectors: Charity & Public Sector, Culture, Media & Sport, Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Science & Technology
Location: Board meetings will be held mainly at Kew, with some meetings each year at Wakehurst Place
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: The role is unremunerated, but 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 to attend Board and Committee meetings and associated activities.


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

Defra Ministers have appointed Krishnan Guru-Murthy to the Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens. They have also reappointed Catherine Dugmore and Nick Baird for second terms.

Date: 05/07/2018

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    06/04/2018 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement

    05/07/2018 at 12:00


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

“This year will prove to be an historic one for Kew, with the grand re-opening of The Temperate House, The Greatest Glasshouse in the World, after the biggest restoration project in Kew’s history. We are looking for applications from candidates with expertise in science and/or communications to help enhance public understanding of Kew’s role as a leading science and conservation organisation.”

Lord Gardiner of Kimble, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity

To complement its existing skills and knowledge the Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is seeking one new member with demonstrable scientific expertise in a field relevant to RBG Kew’s science or expertise in communications.

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.

The successful candidate must abide by the Nolan principles of public service

Person Specification

You should demonstrate all of the following:

  • 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 question, challenge constructively and influence decision making within a Board setting in a complex organisation.
  • An ability to influence and engage a strong and diverse network of people and organisations and the ability to inspire confidence in stakeholders at all levels.

This recruitment will fill one vacancy on the Board.  Successful candidates for this vacancy should also be able to demonstrate expertise in one or both of the following specified areas 

  • Scientific expertise in a field relevant to RBG Kew’s science: RBG Kew is primarily a scientific organisation with scientific collections. RBG Kew would benefit from an individual with expertise in scientific collections, big data and/or scientific leadership and fundraising.
  • Public communications expertise:  RBG Kew needs to improve the communication of its scientific and conservation work and building the profile and reputation of the organisation.  RBG Kew would benefit from an individual with expertise in journalism, communications or broadcasting.

Additional Information

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew was founded in 1759. Under the National Heritage Act 1983 the Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (RBG Kew) was established as a corporate body. RBG Kew is an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) and exempt charity, sponsored and regulated by Defra. Eleven Trustees are appointed by the Defra Secretary of State and one by HM the Queen.


RBG Kew has an international reputation for its scientific research into plants and fungi, and for its living and preserved collections which are unique in their global scope and coverage. Its gardens at Kew (Crown land, managed under Ministerial Direction from the Secretary of State) and Wakehurst Place, West Sussex (leased from the National Trust) are enjoyed by two million visitors a year.


As an extensive botanical garden with a large number of nationally important heritage buildings, RBG Kew faces a significant financial challenge in ensuring it can operate as a world class visitor attraction and site of scientific expertise, while maintaining and developing these assets.

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 together with a statement of suitability.  You should also provide the names and contact details for two referees.

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 to the following address by the closing date: 12.00 (midday) on 6 April 2018. Email to quoting reference APPT 02-18.

If you have any questions about the appointments process please contact Andrew Morris, Public Appointments Team on 020 8026 6562 or:

For an informal discussion about the role please contact David Cope, Director of Strategy and External Affairs, Kew on Tel. 07500 100107 or:

Monitoring form 1 (Conflicts of Interest and Political Activity)
Monitoring form 2 (Diversity)
4_Public Appointments Guidance notes
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