Board of Trustees

 The front facade at Heelis, the central office for The National Trust in Swindon, Wiltshire

Meet the people on the National Trust's Board of Trustees.

Tim Parker (Chairman) 

Tim Parker became Chairman of the National Trust on 8 November 2014. 

Tim has enjoyed a long business as CEO of several well-known companies. After a spell in the Treasury as an economist, he studied at the London Business School, and soon after was appointed as general manager of a subsidiary of Thorn EMI based in Chicago. In 1989 he led the management buy-out of Kenwood, the kitchen appliances company. 

Subsequently Tim has been CEO of Clarks, the shoe company, Kwik-Fit, the AA, and until recently, Samsonite, where he remains Chairman. Tim has been Chairman of Channel Nine TV in Australia and the Autobar Group, Europe’s largest vending company. He has also served as a non-executive director on the Boards of Legal & General, Alliance Boots and Compass Group. He is also a director and owner of the British Pathé film archive.

Orna NiChionna (Deputy Chairman and Council member)

Orna joined the Board of Trustees in December 2013 and was appointed Deputy Chairman in December 2014. She is also the Soil Association’s appointee on the National Trust Council. Orna takes whatever opportunities she can to alert people to the importance and fragility of the complex ecosystems that sustain us and to the need to stop taking them for granted. She was Chair of the Soil Association from 2007 to 2013 and is still a member of its Council. 

Orna studied electronic engineering in Dublin and Cork, holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. She became the first female Partner in McKinsey’s London office in 1990. Her focus at McKinsey, where she spent a total of 18 years, was on consumers and retailers. 

She hopes and believes that her skills and experience in strategy, finance and governance, as well as her passion for protecting the environment, are helpful in her role on the National Trust’s Board and Council. 

She has been a member of the National Trust for many years and has been a Trustee of Sir John Soanes Museum since 2012. Orna has served on various corporate boards since leaving McKinsey in 2001 and is currently a non-executive director of Royal Mail plc and Saga plc.

Clare Broom (Council member)

Clare joined the Board of Trustees in September 2011. She is also an elected member of the Council. Clare was Chairman of the National Trust’s Regional Committee for Devon and Cornwall from 2006-10. She was appointed as Chairman of the SW Regional Committee from September 2010. 

Clare lives in Devon and has a background in conservation and countryside management. She spent nearly 30 years working in the University sector and was a Deputy Vice-Chancellor for four years. She has a professional planning qualification and has also worked as a consultant for both the private and public sector. 

She is a DEFRA appointee on the Environment Agency’s South West Regional Flood Defence Committee, a former trustee of two County Wildlife Trusts and a trustee of the Seale-Hayne Educational Trust.

Gus Casely-Hayford

Gus was appointed to the Board of Trustees in September 2016.  He has pursued a varied career as an academic (he has a PhD in African history), is a trustee of the National Portrait Gallery, a curator and presenter. Gus has worked on major projects at the British Museum in interpretation and education.

He is also a consultant to the Tate (he advised on the Artist and Empire exhibition) and co-curated the British Library’s biggest ever exhibition on the African intellectual tradition. Gus has broadcast extensively with the BBC and Channel 4.  He is a champion of diversity in the visual arts and lectures at a number of universities.

Michael Day CVO

Michael was appointed to the Board of Trustees in September 2016.  He has been the Chief Executive of Historic Royal Palaces since 2003 and is widely credited for building one of the most successful visitor businesses in the UK. A curator by background, as Chief Executive of HRP he oversaw the now famous Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red poppies installation at the Tower of London. Other projects include the re-presentation of Kew Palace and Kensington Palace (including the temporary installation of the Enchanted Palace).

As chair of the Battersea Arts Centre and a former trustee of Alnwick Garden Trust, Michael also has trustee experience. He lectures at universities and other institutions around the world. 

David Fursdon

David was appointed to the Board of Trustees in September 2016.  He is a landowner and has developed his family estate in Devon into a thriving business.

He has a range of non-executive and consultancy interests in the environmental and heritage sectors, the common aspects of which have been the successful and sensitive commercialisation of rural and heritage assets. David is currently Lord-Lieutenant of Devon. He has advised government on rural affairs, has been President of the Country Land & Business Association and been an English Heritage Commissioner.

Caroline Goodall (Council member)

Caroline joined the Board of Trustees in September 2012 and is an elected member of the Council. Caroline has over 30 years corporate finance experience. She was a partner at Herbert Smith for 23 years specialising in corporate finance and corporate governance. 

Caroline was Head of Herbert Smith's Global Corporate Division and served on the Firm's Management Committee responsible for the executive day to day management of the Firm. Caroline retired as a partner in Herbert Smith in September 2009 but she retains an advisory role with the Firm as a consultant. 

Caroline has been Associate Fellow of Newnham College Cambridge where she was a non-executive member of the College's Governing Body from 2005 to 2008. She has advised the College on its Development Campaign. 

Caroline is a member of the CBI's Companies Committee and is a member of the CBI Working Group on Corporate Governance developing the CBI's policy on corporate governance. Caroline is a Trustee and Non-Executive Director of the Woodland Trust and is also a member of the charity's Audit and Investment Committee. 

Caroline's other current positions include being an Independent Non-Executive of the accountancy firm Grant Thornton where she also sits on the Risk Assurance Committee (the committee responsible for the external audit of Grant Thornton's accounts and risk management). She is also a Non-Executive Director of SVG Capital plc, a FTSE 250 listed company which is a private equity investor and fund management business.

Sandy Nairne CBE FSA

Sandy Nairne joined the Board of Trustees in April 2015. Until recently Sandy was Director of the National Portrait Gallery (2002 -15) where he led the transformation of a much loved museum into an even more successful national institution. Among many other achievements as Director, Sandy enhanced the creative partnership between the National Portrait Gallery and the National Trust at Beningbrough Hall and Montacute House.

He was previously Director of Programmes at the Tate, and has served on various advisory groups from the Fourth Plinth Selection Committee to the Maggie's Art Group, and the Fabric Advisory Committee of St Paul’s Cathedral, which he currently chairs. 

Over the years Sandy has contributed to the governance of several organisations including the Royal College of Art and the British School at Rome. In 2014 he was appointed Chair of the Board of the Clore Leadership Programme, developing creative leadership in the cultural and heritage sectors across the UK. Alongside his enthusiasm and expertise in the arts, architecture and heritage Sandy has a long standing interest in learning and education, and in diversity and issues of identity. A man of varied interests, Sandy cites racing-punting, drawing and competitive croquet as among his many pursuits.

John Sell

John joined the Board of Trustees in January 2015. He is an architect specialising in the care and repair of historic buildings. A former chair of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, he is now chair of the Joint Committee of National Amenity Societies and of the Historic Environment Forum. It was as a result of his initiative that the Heritage Alliance was founded.

As Executive Vice-President of Europa Nostra he has influenced heritage policy in Europe and has been particularly involved in developing Europa Nostra’s 7 Most Endangered Programme and the Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe programme funded by the European Commission.

Aside from his heritage interests, John is a director of a property investment company and chairs a charity devoted to adding enjoyment to the lives of disabled and disadvantaged people.

David Smart (Council member)

David joined the Board of Trustees in January 2015. David is also an elected member of the Council and Chairman of the Investment Committee.

He has a particular interest in the longer term challenges posed by the ever increasing cost of maintaining so many buildings. His main professional experience is in finance, in his private life he has a great interest in the conservation not only of the two Grade II listed houses his family owns, but also in the art and furniture in them.

Carys Swanwick

Carys joined the Board of Trustees in September 2012. She was born on a farm in Gloucestershire. Having lived and worked in some of the finest landscapes in the country, including a formative childhood in the Lake District and many years in or near to the Peak District, she now divides her time between home in rural south Leicestershire and work in Sheffield. 

With a background in biology and conservation Carys has spent her career in landscape and environmental planning and management. She spent twenty three years with Land Use Consultants, acting as a Principal and Director of this multidisciplinary company. This was followed by appointment as a Professor of Landscape at the University of Sheffield where she was head of the Department of Landscape for ten years and then Director of Learning and Teaching for the Faculty of Social Sciences.

She is passionate about the British Landscape and has devoted much of her working life to promoting its importance to all aspects of national and local life. She has served on the Board of Directors for two charitable bodies, the Landscape Research Group and for the National Urban Forestry Unit and also served for ten years as an appointed chair of the Forestry Commission’s Regional Advisory Committee, initially for the North of England and then, after re-organisation, for the Yorkshire and the Humber Region.

Rick Wills

Rick joined the Board of Trustees in September 2011. His career started as a management trainee at British European Airways in the late 1960s. He moved on to the Thomson Travel Group where, after spending three years in the USA setting up and acquiring travel companies, he became Management Services Director, before returning to British Airways in 1987. 

Between 1990 and 2001 Rick was responsible for Corporate Venturing at the airline, firstly as Managing Director of BA Speedwing and then as Managing Director of BA Enterprises. During this period he established 8 trading entities worldwide – in IT, consulting, offshore processing, retail, media, travel, health, Business Jets and the London Eye. 

Since 2001 Rick has pursued a plural career. He was Chairman of the London Eye Company and remains Chairman of Tyzack Associates and of The Princes Foundation for Children and the Arts. Rick is also on the Board of Alexandra Palace and Vice Chair of its regeneration committee. 

Rick has also chaired Henley Management College’s consulting business and was a non-executive director of Page & Moy, Interflora and BT Contact Central. Rick lectures at business schools on the subjects of corporate venturing and business innovation.

In 2015 Rick became Chair of The Postal Museum and MailRail, which will open to the public in 2017.