News story

Heritage Lottery Fund/National Heritage Memorial Fund Appointments

The Prime Minister has appointed Maria Adebowale- Schwarte, Claire Feehily, Sarah Flannigan, Rene Olivieri and David Stocker as Trustees of the HLF/NHMF Board.


Appointments have been made for a term of 3 years. Claire Feehily, Sarah Flannigan and Rene Olivieri will start their terms on 01 March 2018 to 28 February 2021, whilst Maria Adebowale- Schwarte and David Stocker will start their terms on 16 May 2018 to 15 May 2021.

Maria Adebowale- Schwarte

Maria is an inclusive place and urban renewal strategist, and the Founding Director of Living Space Project, a place making and green space think tank and consultancy. She has over twenty-five years of hands on and strategic expertise in national and international organisations with a major place, heritage, environment and grant making focus. And, has been an advisor for several funding programmes, amongst others, the Big Lottery, NESTA, Artists Project Earth and Natural England. Maria’s current public appointment roles include a board member of the Environment Agency, the Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s South East Committee, and a Commissioner on the Mayor of London’s Sustainable Development Commission. She’s also a former commissioner of English Heritage. She holds a first degree in Organisational Studies and Business Law from the University of Lancaster, a Masters in International Law from SOAS, University of London, and is a recipient of a Clore Social Leadership Fellowship. Maria’s the author of the book ‘The Place Making factor’ based on her research and experience of using place led thinking as a disruptor of siloed grant making and philanthropy.

Claire Feehily

Claire is a qualified accountant and MBA and has particular expertise in financial and risk governance, and in helping organisations to engage properly with those who use services and to learn from what they say.

She has more than 30 years’ experience at executive and then non-executive levels across the public and charitable sectors.

Board non-executive experience includes serving on three NHS boards since 2010, and Claire is currently a non-executive director at Gloucestershire Hospitals Trust, following four years as Chair of Healthwatch Gloucestershire.

Currently, Claire has one other government appointment as NEBM and Audit Chair at the National Archive (Remuneration approx 12k per annum). She also holds board positions with The Guinness Partnership (to September 2018), Alliance Homes and volunteers as a Trustee with Stroud and Cotswolds Citizens Advice and as a Committee member with the National Trust.

Claire’s academic background was originally in modern history and she completed a first degree at King’s College London and worked in the archive of the War Studies Dept. there. She later gained a PhD in English in 2008 from London University, examining the political debate about how to teach the humanities and literary heritage, and taught at Birkbeck College and the School of Advanced Study. She has particular research and teaching interests in Cultural Memory and has published on the memorialisation of military conflict. She is currently working on the University of Bradford archive of Dr William Allchin, POW, psychiatrist and peace builder.

Sarah Flannigan

Sarah has been Chief Information Officer at EDF Energy since 2016. She was previously CIO at the National Trust where she led a major 3 year digital transformation programme. Sarah was named “European CIO of the Year” in 2017. She is a member of the Board of Trustees at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and of the Board of Governors at Wells Cathedral School.

Rene Olivieri

René Olivieri was for many years the chief executive of the international scientific and scholarly publisher, Blackwell Publishing. Under him Blackwell became the leading publishing partner for scientific academic and professional societies world-wide. He continues to mentor senior management teams in the media and technology sectors on innovation, new business models and cultural change. He is a non-executive director of IOP Publishing and has also been the Chair of several start-up companies.

He continues to play a role in the development of higher education. He served on the Board of the Higher Education Funding Council for England between 2008 and 2014 and is a member of the Chancellor’s Court of Benefactors at Oxford University. René is passionate about protecting the natural environment and improving farmed animal welfare.

Between 2012 and 2017 he was the Chair of the Wildlife Trusts and, prior to this, Chair of Tubney Charitable Trust.

He takes a keen interest in the performing arts, and particularly in regional theatre. He has been the Chair of the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry and he and his wife are long-time supporters of the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-on- Avon.

David Stocker

David is hon. visiting professor at the University of Leeds and works in the heritage sector in Lincolnshire and the East Midlands. He has worked as an archaeologist and architectural historian in the heritage sector since 1978 and has held posts with many heritage charities, English Heritage (1986-2012) and the Heritage Lottery Fund, where he sits on the East Midlands Committee.

David’s interests lie principally within medieval archaeology (buildings, churches, settlement and landscape), about which he has written many articles and books.

He is currently a trustee of the Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology, trustee and President of the Lincoln Record Society, and also Council for British Archaeology (CBA) nominee to the Council of the National Trust. The role is remunerated at £6,560 per annum. This appointment has been made in accordance with the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments. The appointments process is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. Under the Code, any significant political activity undertaken by an appointee in the last five years must be declared. This is defined as including holding office, public speaking, making a recordable donation, or candidature for election. Maria Adebowale- Schwarte, Sarah Flannigan, Rene Olivieri and David Stocker have declared no such political activity. Claire Feehily has confirmed that she is a member of the Labour Party and that she pays an annual membership subscription.

Published 20 March 2018