Dec 052018

Chair - Forestry Commission Expert Committee on Forest Science

Body: Forestry Commission (FC)
Appointing Department: Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Sectors: Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Location: Various
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: No remuneration, but expenses paid in line with FC expenses policy
Time Requirements: 2 x two day meetings per year, plus occasional extra involvements. Meetings are held in each of the devolved nations and include, in addition to a business agenda, site visits of scientific/research import.

This is not a ministerial appointment.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched: 03/12/2018
  • Closed for Applications: 02/01/2019 at 12:00
  • Panel Sift: TBC
  • Final Interview Date: 30/01/2019
  • Announcement: TBC

Assessment Panel

  • Shireen Chambers - Panel Chair - Executive Director, Institute of Chartered Foresters • Independent Member
  • Dr Mary Barkham - Non Executive Forestry Commissioner • Other Panel Member
  • Professor Julian Evans - Current Chair, Expert Committee on Forest Science • Representative of Organisation
  • Professor Chris Quine - Chief Scientist, Forest Research • Departmental Official

Vacancy Description

The Chair of the Forestry Commission Expert Committee on Forest Science will have the opportunity to make a significant contribution to the development of forest science in the UK. This is at a time of unprecedented interest in the benefits, which forestry can provide to society and a rapidly evolving delivery landscape across the devolved administrations.

The chair will be an outstanding individual with a first-class reputation and background in science in a relevant discipline. They will have strong leadership skills, and be able to command the confidence of the department, professionals, commissioners of services, and educational institutions. The chair will have significant experience of successfully leading a complex, high-profile committee, and a commitment to the values of accountability, probity and the government’s best practice principles on transparency, timeliness and exchange of information.

The Chair of the Forestry Commission Expert Committee on Forest Science will have responsibility for:

  • the operation and output of the committee, including assessing the workload and ensuring that the volume of work does not compromise the rigour of discussion;
  • ensuring that every member of the committee has the opportunity to be heard and that no view is ignored or overlooked, using, where appropriate, a structured process which ensures that all views are captured and explored;
  • reporting the committee’s advice to the Forestry Commissioners including alerting them to new evidence likely to have an impact on current policy;
  • ensuring that the secretariat accurately documents the proceedings of the committee so that there is a clear audit trail showing how the committee reached its decisions;
  • ensuring that the right balance of skills is represented in the membership.

Person Specification

The successful applicant must have:

  • Experience as an influential Chair with an excellent record of service on public bodies.
  • Personal authority, capable of dealing both sensitively and authoritatively with Committee members, Forestry Commissioners, senior Department Officials, and Forest Research scientists.
  • Ability to encourage debate whilst preventing strong views from skewing the agenda.
  • Willingness to work hard and uphold the values of the Committee.
  • A broad understanding of the impact of new and emerging forestry and environmental science and an ability to keep abreast of scientific, social and ethical developments in the field.
  • Excellent communication skills, and a willingness to challenge the views of others while maintaining commitment to achieving its objectives through teamwork.
  • A high level of analytical skills and the ability to apply them in relation to forestry research.
  • A commitment to developing a cadre of high quality scientists within Forest Research.
  • Knowledge of the forestry sector in the UK, including the work of Forest Research (FR), is desirable.

Additional Information

The chair will be appointed for a term of 3 years. A maximum of two terms may be served. The chair will be paid expenses in line with Forestry Commission policy.

We value and promote diversity and are committed to equality and opportunity for all and appointments are made on merit.

How to Apply

All candidates are required to complete the following forms:

  • Monitoring form 1 (Political Activity and Conflict of Interest Questionnaire)
  • Monitoring form 2 (Diversity Monitoring Questionnaire)

Candidates should submit their CV with education, professional qualifications and employment history and the names and contact details for two referees, together with their statement of suitability.

The statement of suitability should give evidence of the strength and depth of your ability to meet the essential criteria for this role. Please provide specific examples to demonstrate how you meet each of the criteria (max two pages please).

Your CV and statement should be returned to the following address by the closing date: 12.00 (midday) on 2 January 2019. Email to :

For further information please email:


This post is NOT regulated by The Commissioner for Public Appointments.

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