Mike Turnbull, Roger Leakey and Robert Mathers have all joined the ITF Board of Trustees. The three appointments mark the latest step in a series of moves that has seen ITF reinvent itself for the 21st Century, the organisation is now well placed to expand upon the community forestry projects that have formed the cornerstone of its work for the last 87 years. ITF’s next phase of strategic development will further encompass advocacy, education and awareness raising, both in Africa and the UK.
Mike Turnbull has been appointed Chairman designate after 8 years as Chairman of Tree Aid during which time he oversaw unprecedented growth at the NGO. Mike was also Vice Chairman of aSussex based mental health charity until last year. He has also held several senior management and non-executive positions in the public and not-for-profit sector. Working initially in central government, he then held two Director posts at the Housing Corporation, was Executive Director of the National Association of Head Teachers and subsequently held several freelance management roles in public agencies.
Mike said of his arrival at ITF:
“As someone who is passionate about the role that trees play in maintaining a healthy environment and in contributing to peoples’ well-being, quality of life and economic opportunities, I am delighted to have been appointed Chairman Designate of the International Tree Foundation. I look forward to enlarging on the experience I gained at Tree Aid, in the wider global context in which ITF stands out.”
Roger Leakey has been appointed as Vice Chairman designate. He has been Professor of Agroecology and Sustainable Development at James Cook University,Australia; Head of Tropical Ecology at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and Director of Research at the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry,Kenya. He has done consultancy work for many international development agencies and was a Coordinating Lead Author in the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development. Roger has a D.Sc. for his work on tree domestication and a Ph.D. in plant physiology. He also has a B.Sc. and diplomas in practical agriculture. He holds a number of Fellowships (FIBiol, CBiol, FRGS) and is a Fellow of both the Faculty of Science of Edinburgh University and of the World Agroforestry Centre. He is Vice-president of the International Society of Tropical Foresters.
Roger said of his appointment:
“I’m looking forward to working with ITF. I hope that my experience of working with poor smallholder farmers in Africa to bring traditionally-important food trees into their farming system can be scaled up to improve the livelihoods of millions of marginalized and vulnerable people around the world”.
Robert Mathers, has been appointed as ITF’s Treasurer, Robert recently retired from the post of Financial Director of a peace charity which operated in conflict areas around the globe, particularly inAfrica. Before that he trained as an actuary and worked in financial services for 35 years, holding a variety of positions both in the City and internationally. In addition to his work for ITF, he is Treasurer for Oxford Advocacy, which helps disadvantaged people to be heard, and he also advises at his local Citizens Advice Bureau.
Robert said of his appointment:
“My previous work and the areas to which it has taken me have made me realise the importance of meaningful work and protection of the natural environment in the prevention of conflict and in improving peoples’ lives. I have always been taken by the beauty and usefulness of trees, and ITF brings together these two interests.”
The retiring Chairman, Spencer G. Keys, said of the new appointments:
“We are extremely pleased to welcome our new Trustees, who bring unrivalled expertise and experience to our area of interest. They will work alongside me and the current Vice Chair, Ruth Yeoman, until January in order to assist a seamless transition. Ruth and I will remain as Trustees.”