The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is run by an Executive Board.
Kew's priorities 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
Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Richard started as Director of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in 2012. At the BBC he spent 10 years in BBC News and ran the BBC News websites before revamping the BBC’s children’s channels with a mission to raise the quality and impact of programming. 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. Richard read Natural Sciences at University of Cambridge and is an official Champion for Food Forever, a global initiative that aims to secure biodiversity for the benefit of food security around the world.
Executive Director of Development (Interim)
Judith started at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in May 2022, as Director of Development, joining from the National Gallery where she was Head of Philanthropy for eight years. Following Kew Foundation’s restructure in May 2023, when it became the Development Directorate, Judith has taken on the role of Interim Executive Director of Development, whilst an external recruitment process takes place. As Executive Director of Development, Judith oversees the Directorate’s delivery of Kew’s fundraising campaign, currently in its silent phase, and has responsibility for maximising charitable support and sponsorship for all aspects of Kew’s work. The directorate raises funding from individuals, trusts, foundations, and companies. Through the campaign we aspire to make a step change in philanthropic support for Kew in the years ahead. Judith has over 20 years’ experience working across arts, heritage, and higher education, in fundraising roles at organisations including the National Gallery, Tate, Wigmore Hall, King’s College London and University of the Arts London. At King’s College London she was a key fundraiser in their campaign ‘World Questions: King’s Answers’ which raised over £500m.
Director of Gardens
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 developing important scientific living collections. In his current role he has responsibility for our gardens and living collections at Kew Gardens and Wakehurst, Kew’s School of Horticulture, Learning and Participation programmes, Interpretation, and a selection of capital building and restoration programmes. Richard holds a degree in Applied Science (Horticulture) from Burnley College (University of Melbourne) and is a Trustee of the Castle Howard Arboretum Trust, the National Garden Scheme and the Kew Guild. He is also a Council member of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture.
Director of Science
Professor Alexandre Antonelli
Alexandre Antonelli took up the role of Director of Science at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew on the 4th of February 2019 taking over from professor Kathy Willis who held this role for 5 years. He formerly was Professor in Biodiversity and Systematics at the University of Gothenburg, Scientific Curator at Gothenburg Botanical Garden, and Director of the Gothenburg Global Biodiversity Centre. Between January – July 2018 he was the Cisneros Visiting Scholar at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University, USA. Antonelli’s research has focused on elucidating the origins and evolution of the rich biodiversity of tropical regions, with a focus on the Andean and Amazonian regions of South America. Under the project funded by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, he is leading the development of approaches for the rapid quantification of biodiversity, by means of high-throughput DNA sequencing and citizen-science observations of species using mobile phones.
Director of Marketing and Commercial Enterprise
Sandra joined the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in March 2016 with responsibility for Kew’s brand, visitor experience and commercial activities. Her directorate encompasses marketing, communications, digital experience, creative services, visitor operations, visitor programming and commercial events, brand licensing, retail, venue hire and publishing. In total, her directorate brings in over one third of Kew’s net income. Sandra works with colleagues across the organisation to strengthen the overall visitor offer at Kew Gardens and to build the understanding and reputation of RBG Kew in the wider world. After a successful career as Client Services Director in advertising and marketing agencies, handling brands such as Orange, Motorola, P&O and First Choice, Sandra moved client-side where she held senior positions at Microsoft and Premier Inn, which she launched. This was followed by seven years as Head of Marketing, Brand & Digital at Historic Royal Palaces, then two years as Commercial Director for Royal Museums Greenwich. Sandra holds a BA in French and German. She is also a Trustee of the River and Rowing Museum in Henley, and a Governor of the University of West London.
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, Government Affairs, Estates and Facilities Management. Fern is also a trustee for Shoreditch Town Hall, a vibrant independent cultural, live events and community venue in London.
Chief Information Officer
Ian joined Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in February 2017, bringing with him over 20 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, he 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. Additionally, he sits on the Board of Governors at the University of Bedfordshire and is a Trustee of King’s College Hospital Charity.
List of executive board members:
- Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: Richard Deverell
- Executive Director of Development (Interim): Judith Kerr
- Director of Gardens: Richard Barley
- Director of Science: Professor Alexandre Antonelli
- Director of Marketing & Commercial Enterprise: Sandra Botterell
- Director of Resources: Fern Stoner
- Chief Information Officer: Ian McKetty