National Trust appoints Dame Helen Ghosh as director-general

Permanent secretary to the Home Office will take up the role in November, replacing Dame Fiona Reynolds

Dame Helen Ghosh
Dame Helen Ghosh

The National Trust has appointed the civil servant Dame Helen Ghosh as its next director-general.

Ghosh will replace Dame Fiona Reynolds who announced earlier this year that she would be stepping down after 12 years as head of the conservation charity to become Master of Emmanuel College at the University of Cambridge.

Ghosh has been permanent secretary to the Home Office since the start of 2011 and will take up the post at the trust in November. She has held a variety of civil service roles, including permanent secretary to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs between 2005 and 2010. 

In a statement, Ghosh said: "I have been an admirer of the trust and its work all my life and I am thrilled that I have been given the chance to be part of its future. I am delighted to be able to build on Fiona Reynolds' great work in setting the trust's direction for the 21st century."

During Reynolds’ time at the trust, membership has risen from 2.6 million people to an all-time high of four million people. Last year, it generated an income of £412.9m, up from £192.2m before she joined the charity in 2000.

Simon Jenkins, chairman of the National Trust, said: "Helen is a distinguished and energetic public servant. We are convinced she is ideal to lead the organisation through what is proving a challenging time. We all look forward to working with her."

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