Executive Board

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
  • Richard Deverell

    Director, Royal Botanic Gardens,  Kew

    Richard Deverell
    Richard started as Director of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in 2012. He has devoted his career to leading innovative and ambitious improvements to public engagement and education. 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. 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. 

  • Meredith Pierce Hunter

    Director of Kew Foundation

    Meredith Pierce Hunter
    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.

  • Richard Barley

    Director of Gardens

    Richard Barley

    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.

  • Alexandre Antonelli

    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. He is married with three children.



  • Sandra Botterell standing in front of plants at Kew Gardens

    Director of Marketing and Commercial Enterprise

    Sandra Botterell

    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.

  • Fern Stoner

    Director of Resources

    Fern Stoner

    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 Youth Music Theatre UK, a small musical theatre charity working with young people across UK.

  • Ian McKetty

    Chief Information Officer

    Ian McKetty 

    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.

    Ian lives in a leafy suburb on the Hertfordshire/Middlesex border with his wife, 3 (unfeasibly loud) children and many, many guitars.

List of executive board members: 

  • Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew:  Richard Deverell
  • Director of Kew Foundation: Meredith Pierce Hunter
  • 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