Sir Harry Studholme has been appointed as interim Chair of the Forestry Commission up to 30 June 2013. He is a serving Forestry Commissioner and his interim appointment follows the departure of Pamela Warhurst on 31 December 2012.
The Forestry Commission is a Non-Ministerial Department operating primarily under the terms of the Forestry Act 1967. It is sponsored by Defra and led by the Board of Forestry Commissioners.
The appointment has been made in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.
Sir Harry Studholme has owned and managed forests in South West England for over 20 years. He has been a GB Forestry Commissioner since 2007 and was Deputy Chairman of the Independent Panel on Forestry, which reported in July 2012 on the future of English forestry. His current commitments include chairing the Phaunos Timber Fund, a quoted investment trust owning forestry across five continents.
Sir Harry was Chairman of the South West Regional Development Agency from 2009 to 2012. He chaired the Finding Sanctuary project, working with environmentalists and the fishing industry on proposals for marine conservation from 2007 to 2011. He is an Engineering graduate of Cambridge University, a Chartered Accountant (FCA), a Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) and accredited Commercial Mediator (CEDR).