Members of our Board

Sir David Henshaw (Chair)

Sir David HenshawSir 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 until 31 October 2025.

Dr Rosie Plummer

Dr Rosie PlummerRosie 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 31 October 2024.

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 Pane. He is Professor of Ecology at Cardiff University where he co-directs the University's Water Research Institute.

Steve is also the Deputy Chair of NRW’s Board.

Appointed until 31 October 2025.


Geraint Davies

Geraint DaviesGeraint Davies has been farming for over 20 years in the Snowdonia National Park, North Wales. 

He is an advocate for producing sustainable food whilst delivering environmental products.

His land management experience encompasses upland habitat management including upland water retention, ancient woodland, soil health and effective grassland management. He has a particular interest in creating and maintaining bird habitat on his farm.

Geraint is the former Wales Chair and Director of Nature Friendly Farming Network, Director of Partneriaeth Penllyn, as well as being active in local committees in Meirionnydd. 

Geraint is a fluent Welsh speaker.

Appointed until 31 October 2024.

Professor Calvin Jones

Calvin is a Professor of Economics at Cardiff Business School and an experienced teacher and researcher with 30 years’ experience in the public and higher education sector. He specialises in regional economic analysis, and with expertise in regional modelling, sustainable development, energy, tourism, and the impact of digital technology.

He has widely published peer reviewed research and has helped develop measurement systems for sustainable development. Calvin has been deeply engaged in helping develop a range of policy and evidence regionally with public and third sector organisations. He has served on the boards of large and small social enterprises, and on national and international committees, including for the United Nations.

Appointed until 31 October 2028.

Mark McKenna

Mark McKenna is co-founder and CEO of Down to Earth, an award-winning group of social enterprises based on Gower, Swansea.  Working with marginalized and disadvantaged communities in south Wales, Mark has been developing inclusive approaches to health care and education through the medium of sustainable construction and sustainable land management since 2002.

Mark’s degree and Masters at Swansea University informed Down to Earth’s evidence-based way of working with on-going academic and clinical research underpinning their holistic, cross-sectoral approach.

Mark’s background has blended the use of natural materials with renewable and off grid technologies in construction to bring about positive change in people’s lives.  He is an advocate for community engagement, working with young people and adults from diverse backgrounds to tackle social and environmental inequality at the same time.

In October 2020, Mark was awarded an MBE for Services to Young People and Environment.

Appointed until 31 October 2028.

Dr Peter Fox

Professor Peter Fox

Pete is passionate about conserving the British countryside, its wildlife and natural environment. Born and raised on a mixed farm in the midlands, Pete has worked in environmental regulation and wildlife management for over 35 years in a wide range of regulatory, technical and leadership roles including flood risk management, biodiversity, climate change, water quality, water resources, fisheries and waste regulation in the voluntary and public sectors. He has a first degree in agriculture, an MSc in wildlife conservation, a PhD in river management and an honorary professorship from Dundee University, in recognition for his ongoing contribution to environmental protection. Pete is a chartered Environmentalist and a Fellow of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment. He retains a strong connection to the countryside and is never happier than when in wellies.

Appointed until 31 October 2026. 

Kathleen Palmer

Kathleen Palmer

Kath is a qualified CIPFA accountant with extensive finance, governance and audit and risk experience having worked in the public sector for the last 20 years. After completing her higher education at Cardiff University, Kath worked in varied roles within Local Authorities, the WDA and then Welsh Government including as Deputy Director of Housing Operations, Deputy Director of Homes and Places and Head of Learning Disability Transformation Project, and is currently the CEO of a community housing association in Wales. 

Kath has significant board experience having been a board member of Ty Hafan (a Welsh leading children’s hospice) and Community Housing Cymru (the umbrella organisation for housing associations in Wales) and brings significant leadership, strategic thinking and change management experience. She is currently a Trustee for Crisis - the national charity for people experiencing homelessness. Kath is passionate about climate change and the environment and is a Member of the Welsh Government Decarbonisation Advisory Group for the Minister of Climate Change. She resides in Pontypridd.

Appointed until 31 October 2026.

Helen Pittaway

Helen Pittaway

Helen was born in North Wales and after completing higher education at the University of Lancaster and the University of Georgia, USA, spent 20 years working in the City of London within financial services. Companies Helen worked for include: HSBC, NM Rothschild & Sons & Alcentra Limited. Since her return to North Wales, Helen has been a School Governor and is currently a Non-Executive Director & Main Board Member at Cartrefi Conwy, MSIF Ltd & River Capital. She will bring her knowledge and experience of finance, risk assessment and strategic direction to NRW. Helen returned to Conwy, North Wales in 2013 with her husband and 2 daughters where they have been working to reinvigorate a neglected woodland, planting meadows and keeping bees.  

Appointed until 31 October 2026.

Professor Rhys Jones

Professor Rhys Jones

Rhys Jones FLSW is a Professor of Human Geography and former Head of Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University. His research interests focus on a range of interrelated themes:

  1. the geography of group identities focusing in particular on the geography of Welsh nationalism and the way in which this is shaped by place-, community- and land-based practices, language, as well as the practices of young people;
  2. the geography of the state, where he specialises on the territoriality of the state, its peopled character. He is also an expert on devolution in the UK, particularly in relation to Wales;
  3. the use made of behavioural insights in public policy in a range of different countries. His work in this area has examined the practical challenges associated with developing behaviourally-informed interventions, as well as the more ethical issues arising from their deployment;
  4. the idea of regenerative tourism and the way in which it can be used to create sustainable livelihoods and environments in upland areas.

He has published widely on these themes, including eleven books and over eighty articles and book chapters. His work has been supported by research grants from the ESRC, the AHRC, the Leverhulme Trust, Horizon 2020, INTERREG and the Welsh Government. His current research projects focus on: ideas of territorial cohesion and spatial justice in the EU (Horizon 2020); the geographies of regional movements in the EU (ESRC); regenerative tourism and sustainable livelihoods in upland areas of Ireland and Wales (INTERREG).

Appointed until 31 October 2027.

Lesley Jones

Professor Rhys Jones

Lesley was born and brought up in Wrexham, North Wales and studied in Swansea, before leaving Wales for several years for work and travel. She returned to Wales to join the Wales Co-operative Centre (now Cwmpas) as a Credit Union Officer, eventually becoming Deputy Chief Executive. In 2010, she became Chief Executive of Keep Wales Tidy. In that role, she worked with partners across all sectors on initiatives to protect our natural environment and support people’s health and well-being. She recently retired after 12 enjoyable years at the helm.

Lesley is currently President of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), elected by the members in 2016. FEE is the world’s largest environmental education organisation with members in over 100 countries globally.

Recently, Lesley has led the development of an innovative 10-year strategy for FEE – GAIA 20:30, which will steer the organisation in tackling the climate and nature emergencies that are facing us.

She has represented FEE at events around the world. This has included the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development in Japan and speaking at events during COP21 and COP26. At the Volvo Ocean Race Summit in Cardiff, she shared a platform with leading environmentalists and business leaders.

Appointed until 31 October 2026.

Clare Pillman (Chief Executive)

Claire PillmanClare returned to Wales to join NRW as its Chief Executive in February 2018. Prior to this Clare was Director of Culture, Tourism and Sport at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. In this role she led the work on the Cultural Olympiad and oversaw a major change programme within the Department. She led work to develop new strategies for Sport, Tourism and Culture, oversaw 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.

From 2004 to 2011 Clare ran the Courts Service in Wales. 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 Court Service Wales (HMCS) to become the first Wales-wide body to receive the Chartermark award for Customer Service.

Clare is currently a Board Member of Wales National Opera and prior to this was a Trustee of the Institute of Cancer Research in London for ten years.

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.

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