Defra Names New Non-Executive Board Members

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has today (13 May 2024) announced the appointment of three new non-executive board members - Julian Glover, Nick Folland and Baroness Kate Rock.

Non-executive board members are senior figures from outside government, appointed to provide challenge to government departments. All non-executive board member appointments follow an open and transparent process, in line with the government's Code of Good Practice for Corporate Governance in Central Government Departments. As set out in the Code of Practice, non-executive board members are appointed directly by the Secretary of State and are not civil servants.

Kate and Julian begin their appointments on 13 May, whilst Nick's term commences on 1 June. All terms will last for three years.

The Defra board provides strategic, corporate leadership to the department and has particular responsibility for monitoring performance and delivery.


Julian Glover

Julian Glover is a policy adviser and author. He is a Trustee of the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Chair of its Midlands and East region. He led the independent Landscapes Review for the government into ways to make our national landscapes better for nature and better for people. He is Co-Chair of the Future Countryside conference. He has worked in government as a policy advisor, as well as for newspapers including the Evening Standard and The Guardian. He is the author of a biography of the engineer Thomas Telford and lives in Derbyshire.

Baroness Kate Rock

Kate Rock is a Director of Wrackleford Farms Ltd, a tenant farming enterprise, and a Trustee and Director of The Royal Countryside Fund. In February 2022, Kate was appointed as Chair of The Tenancy Working Group, commissioned by the Environment Secretary to look at the future of agricultural tenancies. The Rock Review, with recommendations to government, was published in October 2022. Kate is a Peer in the House of Lords and sat on the Select Committee for the Rural Economy from 2018 to 2019.

Kate is Non-Executive Chair of the UK infrastructure company Costain plc and Senior Independent Director of FTSE250 Keller Group plc, the global geotechnical specialist contractor.

Previously, Kate was a Non-Executive Director and Chairman of the Remuneration Committee of Imagination Technologies plc, the former global FTSE 250 high technology company, until November 2017. She was, until January 2023, a Board member of the UK's Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation.

Nick Folland

Nick Folland has extensive legal and governance experience, having been General Counsel & Company Secretary of FTSE 100 businesses since 2001. He has been in this role for Marks & Spencer since November 2018. He originally qualified as a solicitor at Linklaters & Paines in 1993. Nick was previously Chief Executive of the Crown Prosecution Service and Chief of Staff to the CEO of the Co-Op Group, giving him governance experience from the Civil Service and the Mutual Sector.

Nick is a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee of the Board of Defence Equipment and Support, an arms-length body of the Ministry of Defence. He is also a member of the NERC/BAS Operations and Safety Assurance Group, having previously been the Senior Independent Member and Audit Committee Chair of the Natural Environment Research Council. He is Chair of the Remuneration Committee of Ocado Retail Limited and has recently concluded his role as a Non-Executive Director on the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee of HM Prison and Probation Service.

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