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Members of our Board

Read biographies of our Board members

Sir David Henshaw (interim Chair)

Sir David was born and bred in Liverpool. He has lived in North Wales for a number of years with his wife Alison. He was knighted in 2004. 

After Higher education in Sheffield and Birmingham his major career has been in the public sector with Chief Executive roles at Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council and the City of Liverpool, leading a major review of Child Support and the Child Support Agency for central government and more recently senior Chair roles in the NHS including the North West Strategic Health Authority and Alder Hey Foundation Trust Children’s Hospital leading the Board in the building of the new hospital.  He has also been drafted in to a number of challenged NHS Hospital Trusts as an interim Chair.

He was also involved in the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit Capability Review programme of central government departments. He was the Chair of the Welsh First Ministers’ Advisory Board on the delivery of public services . 

During his time at Liverpool he was part of the core team which won Capital of Culture 2008 and managed the Council in developing Liverpool 1, the arena and conference centre together with major radical reforms to the services provided, culminating in Liverpool being recognised as  Council of the year. He retired from Liverpool in 2006.

Sir David is and has been also a Chair and Non-Executive Director for a number of other public and private organisations and retains a series of advisory roles.

Appointed 1 November 2018.

Julia Cherrett

Julia CherrettOriginally from North Yorkshire, Julia has lived in the Brecon area for twelve years. Her background is in the insurance sector and later with Thames Water, Veolia Water and the RWE Group where she held senior human resources roles. On moving to Wales she was responsible for leading the delivery of customer service to Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water’s 1.1 million customers.  She has experience in customer service improvement and transformation, having led significant IT systems improvements for Welsh Water. She has learnedto speak Welsh to a reasonable standard and enjoys reading Welsh novels to improve her vocabulary. She currently holds a non-executive role with Pobl.

Appointed until 1 November 2021.

Dr Rosie Plummer

Dr Rosie PlumerRosie has a background and particular enthusiasm for applied science. She studied agricultural and forest sciences and her biological research (plant science and mycology) included collaborations with industry and commerce. Subsequently she moved into Higher Education and science management, working in academic and non-academic spheres across the biological/physical sciences, at institutional level in wide-ranging strategic, governance, research, and operational roles.  

She was the Director of the National Botanic Garden of Wales for six years until 2016 and now a trustee of the Centre for Alternative Technology and of Plantlife UK, a school governor, and appointed Member of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority Board. Rosie has strong interests in the environment, landscape, heritage and public engagement. She has long-standing connections and commitment to Wales and uses her O level standard Welsh on a day-to-day basis.

Appointed until 1 November 2021.

Catherine Brown

Catherine BrownCatherine Brown has worked across the private and public sectors, qualifying as an accountant with Unilever and then working in senior leadership roles in BUPA, the NHS and the civil service, where she was Chief Executive of the Food Standards Agency. Catherine has extensive experience as a non-executive board member, and currently chairs the Audit Committee of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board.

Appointed until 1 November 2022.

Professor Steve Ormerod FCIEEM, FLSW, FRSB, CEcol

Professor Steve OrmerodSteve Ormerod is one of the world's leading applied freshwater ecologists whose research focuses on the effects of global change on rivers, lakes and wetlands. Lately Chairman of the RSPB and Welsh Water's Environment Advisory Panel, he currently chairs the Invertebrate Charity 'Buglife'. He is Professor of Ecology at Cardiff University where he co-directs the University's Water Research Institute

Appointed until 1 November 2022.

Professor Peter Rigby FRS, FMedSci

Prof. Peter RigbyPeter was trained as a molecular biologist at Cambridge and Stanford, California. From 1999 to 2011 he was Chief Executive of the Institute of Cancer Research, where he remains as Professor Emeritus of Developmental Biology.

As well as being a Director of the Company of Biologists, he serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustee Directors of the Babraham Institute. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Academy of Medical Sciences and a Member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation.

Appointed until 1 November 2021.

Dr Elizabeth Haywood

Elizabeth HaywoodElizabeth Haywood is an experienced SME director, NED and Chair, combining strategic leadership with a solid understanding of governance, financial control and the challenges of building a business. She was the Inaugural winner of the Welsh Woman of the Year Award (1994).

Elizabeth has worked internationally, in Europe and America. She has spent 25 years at the interface between private and public sectors and has experience in regulated industries (transport, energy). She was Director of the CBI in Wales before becoming Managing Director of a recruitment business.

She currently sits on the Boards of Leonard Cheshire Disability and Hendre Group.

Appointed until 8 November 2020.

Karen Balmer    

Karen Balmer

Karen Balmer is a CIPFA qualified accountant and has over 30 years’ experience of financial management, providing both operational and strategic financial leadership within the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. She combines this with her extensive HR and governance experience to support her roles as a NRW board member and as a trustee for other charitable organisations.

Karen is currently the Chief Executive of Groundwork North Wales, an environmental charity that works with partners to tackle the social, economic and environmental issues faced by local communities. Karen who has recently been appointed to the role of the Audit & Risk Assurance Committee Chair for NRW, also serves on the People and Remuneration Committee, the Flood Risk Management Advisory Group and is the Well-Being, Health & Safety Champion for the organisation.

Appointed until 8 November 2022.

Howard Davies  

Howard Davies

Howard Davies is passionate about the natural environment. He is Chief Executive of the National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and, before this, was Director of Wildlife Trusts Wales.

His career started in farming, later working for various practical conservation focused organisations in the third and public sector, before moving on to work within the Countryside Council for Wales’ Protected Landscapes team.

Howard has a degree in Natural Sciences with Biology, a passionate interest in the relationship between people and place and actively promotes collaboration and consensus building. He is experienced in strategic planning and team development, is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the IUCN's World Commission on Protected Areas.

Appointed until 8 November 2020.


Zoë Henderson

Zoë Henderson

Zoë Henderson is a farmer’s daughter from North Wales who read Agricultural Economics at London University before embarking on a 25 year career in business and marketing with The Dow Chemical Company.  During this time, she worked at a senior level in the UK, Europe and the United States in a variety of leadership roles in the crop protection, seeds and biotechnology businesses.

She has wide experience in agriculture, leadership, strategic business development, marketing, new business and human resource development and has always played an active role in industry issues and representation.

Zoë served as a Non-Executive Board member on AHDB Potatoes, a sector of the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB) for six years and is the NRW Board's Equality and Diversity Champion. In addition she is Chair of the Welsh Land management Forum and of the industry wide Sub-group on Agricultural Pollution.

She has also provided consultancy support to various projects and businesses, runs a small interiors and curtain business and is managing a project to develop a holiday destination on the family farm in North Wales. She is a Trustee of The Discovering Old Welsh Houses Group, a steward at The Royal Welsh Show and sits on various committees.

Appointed until 8 November 2022.

Chris Blake

Chris BlakeChris Blake is a prominent practitioner in the community energy and community regeneration sectors within Wales.  He was a founding Director of The Green Valleys, joint winners of NESTA’s Big Green Challenge, and of Community Energy Wales.  He also Chairs the Steering Committee of the Lottery Funded RENEW Wales project. He has had a wide commercial experience within the publishing and mediatech industries as CEO entrepreneur and investor. 

Appointed until 8 November 2020.

 

Clare Pillman (Chief Executive)

Claire PillmanClare Pillman joined the Civil Service in 1990 after studying at St Andrew’s University and the Courtauld Institute of Art.  She has worked in a number of different UK Government Departments, including the Department for National Heritage, the Treasury and the Ministry of Justice.  In 2004 Clare moved back to Wales to work for the newly created Courts Service, which brought together the Crown and County Courts with the Magistrates Courts for the first time.  During this time she chaired the North Wales Local Criminal Justice Board, led the campaign for a prison in North Wales and led Her Majesty’s Courts Service Wales (HMCS) to become the first Wales-wide body to receive the Chartermark award for Customer Service. 

Clare returned to London in 2011 to become Director of Culture at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.  She led the work on the Cultural Olympiad and a major change programme within the Department.  Since then, she has led work to develop new strategies for Sport, Tourism and Culture, overseen the delivery of events such as the Rugby World Cup and the World Athletics Championships, developed and led the programme to commemorate the Centenary of the First World War, and created new models of governance and financing for organisations such as Historic England, English Heritage, the Royal Parks and Visit Britain.

Clare is currently a Board Member of National Theatre Wales; the North Wales Building Preservation Trust and a Council Member of the Welsh Historic Gardens Trust.  Prior to this she was a Trustee of the Institute of Cancer Research in London for ten years.

Clare started learning Welsh formally when she was Director of HMCS Wales.  She took her GCSE in 2009 and in the same year was honoured at the Bala Eisteddfod for her contribution to bilingualism in the justice system.

Board Members' register of interests

In order for Natural Resources Wales to comply with the openness and accountability standards set by the Office of the Commissioner of Public Appointments (OCPA), our Board members are required to declare any interests which may be relevant to the organisation's work.

All Board members are asked to declare any personal and non-personal interests (for example, those relating to university departments for which a member may be responsible) which they feel might conflict with their responsibilities as a Board member, or which may be perceived, by a reasonable member of the public, to influence their judgement.

Board members are asked to declare both financial and non-financial interests.

Members are also asked to declare at the start of Board meetings any specific interests they may hold which are relevant to agenda items. In such cases, the member is asked to withdraw while those specific items are discussed. 

Board members’ allowances

Members of the Board are reimbursed for the costs they incur when travelling on Natural Resources Wales business, including training courses. Costs covered include accommodation, subsistence (including meals and refreshments) and travel.

We recognise that many of our representatives need to travel as part of their everyday business, to ensure that our ambitious business plan targets are delivered. We use the most appropriate methods of travel, and take into consideration sustainability, convenience and efficiency (both for the individual and for Natural Resources Wales), as well as the cost to the organisation.

Details of remuneration will be published in the Annual Report and Accounts.

Contact us

Email: nrwboardsecretariat@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk

Related document downloads

Board Members Register of Interest March 2018 PDF [243.6 KB]

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