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.

  • Tony Sweeney

    Director of Wakehurst

    Tony Sweeney
    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 & Learning

    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 also has responsibility for Kew’s School of Horticulture, for Learning and Participation programmes, Interpretation, and Environmental Sustainability together with a selection of capital building 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 and a member of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture Council.

  • 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.



  • Director of Marketing and Commercial Enterprise

    Sandra Botterell
    Sandra joined the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in March 2016 as Director of Marketing & Commercial Enterprise. Sandra's role carries responsibility for: visitor programmes and exhibitions; brand, marketing, communications, digital experience, design; commercial activities including large scale events, brand licensing, retail, catering, venue hire and publishing; and visitor operations. Sandra works with colleagues across the organisation to strengthen the overall visitor offer at Kew Gardens and to build the reputation of RBG Kew in the wider world. After a successful career as Client Services Director in marketing agencies, Sandra moved client side where she held senior positions at Gossard, Microsoft and Premier Inn. 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 also serves as a Trustee of the River & Rowing Museum in Henley and as 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 and External Affairs. Responsibility for Estates and Facilities Management was added to Fern’s portfolio in 2020. 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. 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 Wakehurst: Tony Sweeney

Director of Horticulture & Learning: 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