Executive Team Biographies

Below are the biographies of the members of the Executive Team.

Duncan Wilson black and white photo

Duncan Wilson OBE

Chief Executive

Roles and responsibilities
Duncan became Chief Executive of the newly formed Historic England in May 2015.

Previous experience
Duncan joined Historic England from the Alexandra Park and Palace Trust where he was Chief Executive from 2011 to 2015. From 2002 Duncan was Chief Executive of the Greenwich Foundation for the Old Royal Naval College, and before that Director of the Somerset House Trust.

Duncan’s first job as a chartered accountant in 1987 was as Senior Management Accountant at English Heritage. Before accountancy he worked as a professional archaeologist in Oxford and Herefordshire, following post graduate research in European Archaeology.

External roles
Duncan is a trustee of the Churches Conservation Trust (from 2008) and was a trustee of the Royal Armouries (2007-2011) and a community governor of Corelli College in Greenwich (2004-2007).

Black and white image of Meryl Hayward

Meryl Hayward

Director of Finance, HR and IMT

Roles and responsibilities
Meryl has overall responsibility for Finance, Procurement and Information Management and Technology within Historic England. The departments provide shared services to the English Heritage Trust.

Previous experience
Meryl is a Chartered Public Finance Accountant and holds an MBA.

Meryl joined Historic England (formerly English Heritage) in 2009 as Finance and Procurement Director.

Meryl has experience of working in both the private and public sector. Previously she has held senior finance roles in the NHS and in Non Departmental Public Bodies. Her last role before joining English Heritage was as Chief Accountant for the Natural Environment Research Council.

External roles
Meryl also sits on the Economic and Social Research Council’s Audit Committee as well as the Natural Environment Research Council Audit and Risk Assurance Committee sub group on Governance.

Picture of Claudia Kenyatta

Claudia Kenyatta

Director of Regional Delivery

Roles and responsibilities
Claudia oversees Historic England’s work in the regions, where we offer expertise and advice and build the effective partnerships that help us to explain, protect and care for the historic environment.

Previous experience
Claudia joined Historic England in September 2018 as Director of Regional Delivery.   Prior to that, Claudia worked in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, where her roles included Head of Heritage, Head of Ceremonials and Director of the Digital Economy Unit.  Her last role before joining Historic England was as Corporate Strategy Director.  Before joining DCMS, Claudia worked in a variety of roles in the Cabinet Office and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (now MHCLG).

External roles
Claudia is a Trustee of Lauderdale House.

Deborah Lamb black and white photo

Deborah Lamb OBE

Director of Engagement

Roles and responsibilities
Deborah’s role is to make the case for England’s heritage and Historic England to government, other organisations and the public. She has overall responsibility for Government Advice, Communications, Publishing and the Historic England Archive. Through the Governance and Legal team she ensures that Historic England’s decisions are well-informed and clearly explained.

Previous experience
Deborah joined Historic England (formerly English Heritage) in 2002 as Director of Policy and Communications. Prior to that, Deborah worked in the Civil Service developing policies on equalities and sustainable development. Her last role before joining English Heritage was as Deputy Director of the Women and Equalities Unit.

External roles
Deborah is a member of the British Academy’s Public Policy Committee.

Black and white portrait Ian Morrison

Ian Morrison

Director of Planning

Roles and responsibilities
Ian was appointed Director of Planning at Historic England in July 2017 to help shape our future direction and to provide strategic leadership for Historic England’s planning, ensuring that we achieve measurable and growing success in our role as the Government’s advisor on the historic environment. 

Previous experience
Ian was previously Chief Executive of the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) where he successfully expanded the charity’s advice, grants and loan services to help meet the growing demand of enterprising communities that wish to repair and re-use historic buildings they value. Prior to joining the AHF, Ian was Head of Historic Environment at the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), where he held the lead UK policy role for the historic environment since 2008 and introduced HLF’s Heritage Enterprise and Grants for Places of Worship grant programmes. His early career was spent with Historic England (formerly English Heritage), where he amassed 15 years’ experience working in a variety of roles in London and the South West region. Trained as an archaeologist, Ian has helped run numerous archaeological excavations in the UK and the Middle East.

External roles
He is a former serving member of the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England, the Prince’s Regeneration Trust Advisory Panel and Historic England’s Expert Advisory Group.

Celia Richardson

Celia Richardson

Director of Communications

Roles and responsibilities
Celia oversees the communications work of Historic England - covering media, marketing, websites, campaigns and exhibitions. Her main role is to help people outside the organisation get involved and enjoy England’s spectacular historic environment.

Previous experience
Celia joined Historic England (formerly English Heritage) in 2015. 
Prior to that, Celia has held senior communications positions in charities and Non Departmental Public Bodies. Her last role before joining Historic England was Director of the Social Economy Alliance, a group of more than 200 NGOs, Universities and sustainable businesses working together to inform cross-party policy development for the 2015 General Election.

External roles
She is a Trustee of Locality.

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