Oliver Smith is Director of Conservation Culture at WWF-UK. He has worked in the NGO sector for over twenty years, after a career in the corporate sector notably as a founder of CeX. He was the Chief Executive of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, co-founder of the Common Cause Foundation in 2014, created the Sustainable Consumption team in WWF-UK, and was the Chair of one of the WWF Network’s 12 Global Initiatives – China SHIFT, based in Beijing. He was also a Trustee of ARC (the Alliance of Religions and Conservation) from 2006-14.
Oliver has extensive experience in NGO start-ups and spinning off programmes as independent organisations, having been Director of Transformations at WWF-UK from 2012 to 2014, responsible for the setting up of new organisations including the Finance Innovation Lab.
Nigel Haigh, OBE
Nigel Haigh helped to found the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and was formerly its Vice President. He opened the London office of the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) and was its director until his retirement. He was a founder of the Green Alliance, and later its Chairman.
Nigel served on the Board of the Environment Agency and was appointed by the European Parliament to the Management Board of the European Environment Agency (EEA). He was Specialist Adviser to the House of Lord’s EU Scrutiny Committee for their report on the White Paper that lead to the major reform of EU chemicals legislation known as REACH.
Leslie Jones, OBE
Leslie Jones is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance, a Fellow of the Institute of Certified Accountants and a Member of the Institute of Water and Environment Managers. He had a long career in the water industry, including the National Rivers Authority before joining WWF-UK as Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Finance.
Les now provides consultancy to many charities and is Honorary Treasurer to several, including the Thames River Trust and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. He is also on the Board of the North and West Reading Clinical Commissioning Group.
Deborah Tripley is Senior Legal Adviser to global programmes at WWF-UK and Founding Director of Planetary Boundaries Initiative (a not for profit think- and- do tank to enforce governance for environmental limits). She is an experienced litigator, having qualified both as a solicitor and a barrister. Her previous positions are: Public interest environmental lawyer; Chief Executive for Environmental Law Foundation, environmental and public law Counsel, Head of Legal at Greenpeace UK.
Debbie has considerable expertise in environmental and public and human rights law leading to test cases on the UK Government’s failure to apply EU conservation law and major planning requirements. She has also advised NGOs on the implementation of new laws such as the Marine Act and the Localism Act. She is a Trustee of Greenpeace Environmental Trust.
Colin is the Chief Executive of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, the global network for the materials cycle. Previously, Colin spent 21 years in the UK Civil Service in a range of roles, including leading negotiation of the EU chemicals regime REACH up to its substantive agreement in the UK Presidency in 2005. That year he led the EU delegation in international negotiations at the Stockholm and Rotterdam Convention Conferences of the Parties and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) preparatory discussions.
He has spent time in the Secretariat of the EU Council of Ministers in Brussels, the UK Cabinet Office and on a range of economic and environmental policy areas.
Mamta Patel has reported on environmental and social issues for nearly 30 years with a career covering a range of mainstream and specialist publications. Starting professional life with a degree in chemistry and a passion for informed journalism, she became Corporate Editor for the UK’s best known environmental journal for professionals, The ENDS Report, for 14 years and helped launch its sister publication ENDS Europe.
She co-founded Chemical Watch in 2007 – a high growth digital B2B publication providing an international business audience with essential intelligence on regulatory compliance and broader chemicals risk management issues. Upon the successful sale of this business in 2020, she is now serving on a select number of boards working with businesses and charities on membership development, diversity and inclusion, social mobility and sustainability issues.