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  • by Trevor Loveday

Defra appoints new non-executive to lead departmental board

Defra has appointed Heather Hancock as the lead, non-executive board member of the departmental board.

Non-executive board members should be appointed directly by the Secretary of State and are not civil servants. Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Therese Coffey, said: “Heather’s wealth of experience and knowledge make her the ideal candidate for this role, and I am confident she will provide superb insight a s we continue our work to leave the environment in a better state than we found it.”

Hancock (pictured) is currently the chair of the Agricultural Forum and a non-executive director of Rural Solutions. And she is Master of Cambridge University’s St John’s College and Chair of the Royal Countryside Fund.

Her earlier experience includes five years as chair of the Food Standards Agency (2015-2021), and Managing director of the global business as Deloitte (2003-2014).

She has held senior roles in Whitehall, local and regional government and was the chief executive of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and a commissioner for a recent enquiry into the needs of remote rural communities in North Yorkshire. In 2014, Heather also delivered an independent review of bias and impartiality into the BBC’s rural affairs coverage.


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