aerial view of the Palm House at Kew

Executive Board

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is run by an Executive Board.

The Executive Board is the key decision-making board that oversees the operations and delivery of RBG Kew’s strategy and plan.

The Executive Board meets formally once a month and informally in between.

The Executive Board is supported by a Secretariat team within the Strategy & External Affairs Directorate.


Richard Deverell - Director, Royal Botanic Gardens,  Kew

Richard is the fifteenth Director of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He has devoted his career to leading innovative and ambitious improvements to public engagement and education. At the BBC he revamped the Children’s BBC channel with a mission to raise the quality of programming for children, introducing new content that would educate and engage them. Since joining Kew, he has led the refresh of Kew’s strategy, bringing expertise from Kew’s global science into sharper focus and more actively engaging the public with contemporary science and conservation in Kew’s beautiful historic gardens. He is a passionate advocate for the power of plants and fungi to help solve the critical challenges facing humanity in the 21st Century. He is also an official Champion for Food Forever, a global initiative that aims to secure biodiversity for the benefit of food security around the world.

 Richard’s priorities for Kew are:

  • ensuring excellent development and curation of our collections for global benefit
  • raising the quality and impact of our science – helping to address some of the critical challenges facing humanity
  • ensuring our botanic gardens are world-class
  • improving our educational impact for all ages
  • ensuring Kew is sustainable, financially secure and well run.

Meredith Pierce Hunter - Director of Kew Foundation

Meredith joined RBG Kew in May 2017. She was previously the Director of Development and Alumni Relations at London Business School and has extensive experience of major gifts, alumni relations, international fundraising, and institutional support. Prior to joining LBS, Meredith led her alma mater’s successful $160M fundraising campaign, having moved to Virginia from Boston where she was a Director at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Meredith holds dual American and British citizenship and has her BA & MBA from the US.

Tony Sweeney -  Director of Wakehurst

Tony has a long career in the cultural, creative and museums sector in the UK and Australia. Most recently, he was Director & CEO of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne, an innovative museum dedicated to art, film and contemporary digital culture. During a ten-year stint he established ACMI as one of the most-visited cultural attractions in Australia, through its dynamic program of exhibitions, film, live events, education and digital engagement programmes. Prior to joining ACMI, he directed an award-winning masterplan re-development of the National Media Museum (formerly the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television) in Bradford, which is part of the national Science Museum Group. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Tony has a keen interest in connections between the arts, science, creativity and learning to engage people in cultural and environmental issues. Tony has a long-standing love of the natural and created landscape, environment, design and heritage in urban and rural settings.

Richard Barley - Director of Horticulture

Richard Barley joined Kew in 2013, relocating from Victoria, Australia.  He was formerly Chief Executive Officer of Open Gardens Australia, and a Director within the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, where he worked for 30 years.  Richard has extensive experience of balancing the needs of a world-class horticultural site and visitor attraction, with maintaining and caring for important scientific living collections.  In his current role he also has responsibility for Kew’s School of Horticulture, for Learning and Participation programmes, Interpretation, and for daily site-based operations including Visitor Hosting, catering, Kew Explorer and the Kew Constabulary. Richard holds a degree in Applied Science (Horticulture), from Burnley College (University of Melbourne).

Paul Wilkin - Acting Director of Science

Paul began this role in September 2018, and was previously Head of Natural Capital and Plant Health at Kew. He holds a BA in Natural Sciences, an MSc in Pure & Applied Plant Taxonomy, and a PHD from the University of Reading. Paul is a member of the Linnean Societys' Palynology Specialist Group, and is a council and newsletter editor for the Systematics Association. His personal research is primarily on the tuberous yams (Dioscorea), and Enset (Ensete). 


Sandra Botterell - Director of Marketing and Commercial Enterprise

Sandra joined Kew in March 2015 as Director of Marketing & Commercial Enterprise, with responsibility for all marketing and communications, brand, design and digital experience and a wide range of commercial activities, from events and festivals to brand licensing. Sandra works with colleagues across the organisation to strengthen the overal visitor offer at Kew Gardens and to build the reputation of Kew in the wider world. She is also leading several large-scale change programmes. After a successful career as Client Services Director in marketing agencies, Sandra moved client-side where she held senior positions as Microsoft and Premier Inn, which she launched. This was followed by 7 years as Head of Marketing, Brand & Digital at Historic Royal Palaces, then 2 years as Commercial Director for Royal Museums Greenwich. Sandra holds a BA in French and German. She is also a Trustee of the River & Rowing Museum in Henley and a Governor of the University of West London. 

Fern Stoner,  Director of Resources

Fern Stoner qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG.  Subsequently she has held finance roles in both the commercial and not for profit sectors, most recently at the National Theatre.  She joined Kew as Finance Director in September 2013 and joined the Executive Board in June 2016.  In June 2017 she was appointed Director of Resources, responsible for Finance, Procurement, HR, Legal, Risk and Health and Safety, Governance and the Director’s Office and External Affairs.   Fern is also a trustee for Youth Music Theatre UK, a small musical theatre charity working with young people across UK.


Ian McKetty - Chief Information Officer

Ian McKetty joined Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in February 2017, bringing with him over 19 years of senior IT leadership experience in both private and public sectors.  Most recently, Ian spent 5 years as Chief Technology Officer at City University London and during this time, Ian led the far-reaching transformation activities which delivered outstanding, highly-available and highly-resilient infrastructure services. Ian’s private sector experience includes 6 years as Technical Services Director at Genesys Conferencing Ltd., where he was responsible for the provision of ‘always-on’ IT, web and telecoms services.  Ian lives in a leafy suburb on the Hertfordshire/Middlesex border with his wife, 3 (unfeasibly loud) children and many, many guitars.

Andrew Williams, Director of Estates and Capital Development

Andrew joined Kew in May 2013 to lead the project to refurbish the Temperate House, and was appointed as a Director in October 2017. He has significant experience in delivering estates, infrastructure and capital projects across a wide range of industries from airports to major sporting events. Andrew is experienced in working in and around listed buildings and horticulture on World Heritage and SSSI sites, notably delivering the London 2012 venues at Greenwich, Horse Guards parade/St James’ Park, Hyde Park and Box Hill before starting at Kew. He can be often found walking his scruffy dog or paddle boarding along the Thames or river Wey with his family.