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René Olivieri, Chair of the National Trust, smiling for the camera
René Olivieri, Chair of the National Trust | © National Trust Images/Clive Nichols

René Olivieri became Chair of the National Trust in February 2022. Learn about René's background, the experience he brings to the role and his life outside of work.

About René

Prior to René Olivieri's appointment as Chair he enjoyed a career working in academia, publishing and higher education. He 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 should be open to everyone.

René's career

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.

Other work

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. He joined 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.

Life outside of work

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

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