Our Chair

National Trust Chair, René Olivieri

René Olivieri, Chair of the National Trust

René Olivieri became Chair of the National Trust in February 2022. Prior to his appointment he enjoyed a career working in academia, publishing and higher education, and brings with him a wealth of governance experience in both the environmental and cultural heritage sectors.

Due to this experience, he has a deep care for nature, wildlife and built heritage, and a strong belief that the joy of experiencing each of them should be open to everyone.

In 1980, René left the United States to resettle in the UK. Here, he took up the position of Editorial Director at Blackwell, an international publishing house specialising in scientific and academic texts, later becoming CEO of the company. 

Through his career in publishing René has gained in depth experience of scientific research and higher education, authoring academic articles himself and serving as a long-standing member of the board of the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

In 2007, René was elected as Chair of Tubney Charitable Trust, a funding organisation which supports animal welfare and nature conservation charities. He subsequently served for six years as Chair of the Wildlife Trust, before joining the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2018, first as Senior Independent Director, and then as Interim Chair. 

During this time he became a member of the £2 billion Culture Recovery Fund Board, and continues to serve on the Government’s Cultural and Heritage Capital Advisory Board.

René was appointed Chair of the RSPCA in 2019, and since then has helped guide the organisation through many changes to its governance, finances and operational strategy.

René is a keen equestrian, tennis player, and loves the theatre.