News story

Culture Secretary appoints new Historic England Commissioners

John Whittingdale, Secretary of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, has appointed five new Historic England Commissioners.

Nicholas Boys Smith and Paul Baker have been appointed for terms of 3 years, Neil Mendoza for 4 years, and Rosemarie MacQueen MBE and Charles O’Brien for terms of 5 years, all from 1 January 2016.

The Commission is the governing body of Historic England and has overall responsibility for the National Heritage Collection, which is managed by the English Heritage Trust on its behalf.

Biographical details

Nicholas Boys Smith

Nicholas is the founding director of Create Streets, a social enterprise that encourages the creation of popular urban environments and strives for constructive public influence on the planning and development process.

Nicholas is currently leading planning, development and urban design-related projects for public sector, private sector and community group clients. He is the author of many public policy studies and is an occasional columnist in Building magazine. He has been described by the Architects’ Journal as a ‘leading figure’ on issues to do with the built environment.

Paul Baker

Paul is a director at architects WilkinsonEyre. His passion for creating spaces that intrigue and delight on both an intellectual and emotional level has led to his continued work with key visitor attractions and cultural institutions around the world. His award winning portfolio includes the Alpine House at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, a series of projects for the Science Museum in London and the extensive redevelopment of the Wellcome Trust’s Collection building.

At the core of his approach is an interest in how architecture can be integrated into its context across the disciplines of structure and services, planning and environment and landscape architecture – and in particular, exploring how this holistic approach can contribute to long-term sustainability and regeneration.

Neil Mendoza

Neil started working life as a banker at JP Morgan in New York before moving to film finance. He co-founded the pioneering publishing agency, Forward, spending much of his career as an entrepreneur and non-executive director in the film, design, software and telecoms sectors.

He is Chairman of The Landmark Trust, Chairman of Children and the Arts, and Vice-Chairman at Soho Theatre.

Rosemarie MacQueen MBE

Rosemarie has over 44 years’ experience of urban planning, conservation, heritage management and regeneration. She has provided expert evidence on conservation issues to parliamentary select committees and her voluntary roles include 20+ years of service on the Georgian Group Executive Committee and as London Chairman of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation. Rosemarie was awarded the MBE for services to Heritage in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Charles O’Brien

Charles is an architectural historian and joint Series Editor of the renowned Pevsner Architectural Guides.

Previously, Charles worked for the Historic Buildings Department of The National Trust in its southern region. He is a member of Historic England’s Advisory Committee and London Advisory Committee, the Advisory Board for the Victoria County History and the Heritage and Arts Committee of the Mercers Company.