Kew Ambassadors and Champions
Meet the Kew Ambassadors and Champions helping to build awareness of the power of plants and fungi.
Andrés Rozental was México’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1995 to 1997.A career diplomat for over 35 years, Rozental served as Deputy Foreign Minister, Ambassador to Sweden, Permanent Representative of México to the United Nations in Geneva as well as various roles within the Mexican Foreign Ministry. Since 1995, he holds the lifetime rank of Eminent Ambassador of México. Rozental holds non-executive Board positions in various multinational institutions, including Arcelor Mitttal México, HSBC Bank in México and Airbus México. He is President of his own consulting firm, Rozental & Asociados and active in several non-governmental organisations. He is also a Senior Policy Advisor to Chatham House in London and a member of the Trilateral Commission. He is the author of four books on Mexican foreign policy, numerous chapters in edited volumes on international affairs and many articles on a variety of topics.
Dame Judi Dench C.H., D.B.E
Dame Judi Dench was born in York and trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. Her stage debut was as Ophelia in Hamlet at the Old Vic, followed by seasons at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon and the National Theatre in London. Television credits include A Fine Romance, in which she starred with her husband, the late Michael Williams, and the long-running series As Time Goes By. Film credits include Murder On The Orient Express, Victoria And Abdul, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and The Best Exotic Marigold Hote, Philomena, Shakespeare in Love, Mrs Brown, Iris, Notes on a Scandal, and the role of M in eight James Bond films. She received an OBE in 1970, was elevated to a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 1988, and made a Companion of Honour in the Queen’s Birthday Honours’ List in 2005.
David Mills MBE
David Mills owns the British Wildlife Centre in Surrey, which he founded in 1997. Before then David was a dairy farmer, with an award-winning herd of pedigree Jersey cows on the farm which has now become the Wildlife Centre. David ceased farming in order to realise his second dream of setting up a centre to educate people about our native wildlife. In 2000 the Centre opened to the public at large and is now recognised as home to the finest collection of native British mammal species in the country.The British Wildlife Centre pioneered the UK’s first walk-through enclosure where visitors can experience free-ranging squirrels in a woodland setting. The Centre is now acknowledged as Britain’s foremost breeder of red squirrels, with a programme of reintroduction in suitable habitats, such as grey squirrel-free islands.David’s philosophy is ‘Conservation through Education’ and his objective is to help people connect with nature in the hope that they too will want to protect it for future generations to enjoy.In 2016 David was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for services to wildlife conservation.
Emilia Fox is best known for her role as Dr Nikki Alexander in BBC’s Silent Witness. She started her career in acclaimed BBC adaptations such as Pride and Prejudice and ITV's Rebecca. Emilia’s career includes working in theatre, film, and television. She is also known for her roles as Sam in Sky’s Delicious with Dawn French, as Sally in ITV's Strangers opposite John Simm, and Valerie Hobson in the BBC's The Trial of Christine Keeler. Emilia has recently presented In The Footsteps of Killers for Channel 4 and Murdertown for Crime+Investigation. She also starred as the title role in the 2022 AcornTV drama, Signora Volpe. She presented The Remarkable Miss North documentary on the life of Marianne North, last aired in 2019 by BBC4. She is currently filming the new series of Silent Witness for BBC and recording the podcast If it Bleeds it Leads with criminologist Professor David Wilson for Global.
Ethnobotanist and TV presenter
James Wong is a botanist, science writer and broadcaster. Graduating with a MSc in Ethnobotany, he has pursued his key research interests of underutilised crop species, ethnopharmacology and traditional food systems through field work in Ecuador, Java and China. Wong is author of the international best-sellers Grown Your Own Drugs and Homegrown Revolution. As a presenter, he is best known for Radio 4’s Gardener’s Question Time and the award-wining Grow Your Own Drugs and Great British Garden Revival. Wong is passionate about communicating plant science to new audiences. In 2015 The Sunday Times listed him as one of the Top 20 most influential people in horticulture.
Kim Cattrall has had an extensive acting career spanning film, stage and television. The British-born actress most recently returned to TV as producer and star of the Sky Arts series Sensitive Skin, and in Swedish hit crime series Modus as the President of the United States. Cattrall’s award-winning role as ‘Samantha Jones’ in Sex & The City was recognised with a Golden Globe, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, five Emmy Award nominations and three Screen Actors’ Guild nominations. A best-selling author, Cattrall has written several books, including Satisfaction, Being as Girl and Navigating the Ups and Downs of Teenage Life. In 2008, Cattrall was honoured at the Banff Media Awards with the NBC Universal Award of Distinction. In 2009, Cattrall was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame, and in 2011, she was honoured by GLAAD with the prestigious Golden Gate awards for her support of the organisation.
TV presenter and writer
Konnie Huq is one of Britain’s most loved presenters. After graduating from Cambridge, Konnie went on to become Blue Peter’s longest serving female presenter from 1997-2008 and since then has presented on shows including The Xtra Factor, King of the Nerds and London Talking to name a few. She is also a brilliant interviewer, having given J.K. Rowling her first ever interview in 1997 and in 2018 interviewing Malala and Ziauddin Yousafzai at Central Hall Westminster on the publication of Ziauddin's book, Let Her Fly. In 2018, Konnie signed a three-book deal for a children’s series with Piccadilly Press. This will be her first foray into children’s books and the main character is inspired by Konnie’s own London Bangladeshi background and her love of science and being a bit nerdy. The first of the series is set for release later this year. Konnie also co-wrote the second instalment of the successful and critically acclaimed Channel 4 series Black Mirror. She is currently an ambassador for the Princes’ Trust and the British Asian Trust.
Independent researcher and historian in gardens, plants and social history
Advolly is a member of the Garden Media Guild; a television presenter on BBC Gardener’s World; a plant history contributor to BBC Gardener’s Question Time; and lectures on various 16th to 20th-century garden topics. She advocates that garden and plant history is for everyone because it helps us understand their value. After all, only when you know the importance of something can you protect it for future generations. She is a trustee of the Welsh Historic Gardens Trust and Castle Bromwich Historic Garden Trust, and patron of Silent Space. She achieved an MA in Garden History from the University of Bristol through her Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) training and qualifications. She promotes diversity and representation 'because you cannot be what you cannot see'. Advolly is researching the life and achievements of the black Victorian botanist, the Reverend Thomas Birch Freeman (1809 – 1890). She has also contributed to two seasons of Unearthed, RBG Kew’s podcast.
British polar explorer and speaker
Dwayne Fields is a British polar explorer and speaker. He is the first black Briton to reach the North Pole, and a presenter for the BBC programme Countryfile. Fields was inspired to visit the North Pole after watching a breakfast television article about Ben Fogle and James Cracknell looking for a third member to assist in their expedition of Antarctica. As well as the first Black British person to reach the North Pole, he is the second black person in the world after Henson. He is co-founder of the #WeTwo Foundation with his expedition teammate Phoebe Smith, a charity that changes the lives of underprivileged young people using the tool of adventure.
Henck's day job is as a florist. He can often be found setting up extravagant floral installations that appear in weddings, festivals and events. Most recently, his work was featured in Strawberry Hill House & Gardens Flower Festival 2023, Chelsea in Bloom; London’s largest and most prestigious free flower festival and he also appeared as a finalist in Netflix’s The Big Flower Fight. Henck first came to Kew as a volunteer with the Arboretum Team 13 years ago and gradually moved over to predominantly volunteer in the Princess of Wales Conservatory, installing the Orchids festival each year. He now has a lead role in designing and creating some of the displays and has encouraged his florist colleagues to do the same.
Adventurer, presenter, author and photographer
Phoebe Smith is an adventurer and award-winning presenter, broadcaster, author, photographer and host of the Wander Woman Travel Podcast. She was the first person to camp at all the extreme points of mainland Britain on consecutive nights and through a series of ‘Extreme Sleep Outs’ – dangling off buildings and cliffs on hanging tents – she has raised over £40k for homeless charities. She is co-founder of the #WeTwo Foundation with her expedition teammate Dwayne Fields, a charity that changes the lives of underprivileged young people using the tool of adventure.