Helen joined the civil service from Oxford University, where she read modern history. During her civil service career, Helen worked in a wide range of Government departments, including seven years as a Permanent Secretary in two departments, Defra and the Home Office, working on multiple social policy issues, including child poverty, asylum and immigration, and local community regeneration. She also worked on key environmental policies, including climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the protection of habitat for endangered species.
In late 2012, Helen moved to become Director-General of the National Trust, where her interest in history, people and places, and her commitment to the environment came together. Since joining the Trust, Helen has overseen an ambitious program of work, including leading the development of our 10-year strategy, Playing Our Part, and committing £2 million a week to the conservation of our landscapes, houses and coastline.
Helen is a long-term member of the Trust and of her local Wildlife Trust in Oxfordshire. She is married to an academic and has a son and daughter, who are in their twenties. She lives in Oxford, and includes family life, looking after her allotment, walking and watching ballet among her relaxations.