New IEMA board member: Richard Powell

10th December 2012

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A profile of Richard Powell, one of the two new non-executive IEMA board members

As announced in the November issue of the environmentalist, IEMA has appointed to two new non-executive directors to its board – the governance committee providing oversight and support to the chief executive in developing and implementing the Institute’s strategy.

Here the environmentalist profiles one of the new additions, Richard Powell (fellow new non-executive board member, Terry A’Hearn, will be profiled in next month’s issue).

Powell has more than 30 years experience in environmental, leadership and director-level roles. An earth science graduate from Oxford Brookes University with a background in geology, Powell has a “firm grounding in how the natural world works”.

Through his professional roles with the RSPB, Heritage Lottery Fund and most recently the National Trust, Powell is able to demonstrate clear and thorough experience and understanding of environmental protection, heritage, sustainability and leadership in various sectors.

His voluntary chair and board positions at a number of organisations, including the Institute of Directors, give him a valuable perspective on understanding the challenges and opportunities that not-for-profit organisations like IEMA face.

Further to his professional and voluntary experience, Powell was recognised for his considerable personal contribution to sustainable development when he was successfully nominated by Defra for an OBE in 2002.

Powell believes that good environmental skills are extremely important in the current and future economy.

“Environmental sustainability – and the people who implement practice and policy – underpins the entire economy; we can’t have an economy without the environment,” he says.

Through his desire to see “joined-up thinking” in everything he applies himself to, Powell says he aims to ensure that IEMA members continue to benefit from clear, rational and ambitious leadership from the board.

Powell’s experience

2011–12 National Trust, East of England director
2010–12 Institute of Directors, chair of Norfolk region
2011 Union of University of East Anglia Students, chief executive
2006–11 Sustainability East, chair
1994–2011 RSPB, regional director
2000–10 Heritage Lottery Fund, chair
2002–06 Go East, chair
2002–05 Renewables East, chair
1998–2003 EEDA, board director
1988–94 RSPB, senior reserves manager
1979–83 MAFF, research field officer


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