News story

Secretary of State appoints Maria Adebowale-Schwarte to Environment Agency Board

Urban renewal expert appointed to the Board of the Environment Agency as natural environment lead.


Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Elizabeth Truss, has appointed Maria Adebowale-Schwarte to the Board of the Environment Agency as natural environment lead.

The appointment will take effect from 1 July 2016 for three years.

Board members provide non-executive leadership challenge and support to the executive through regular Board meetings, committees and groups. They also undertake individual lead roles on relevant issues and with local operational teams.

All appointments to the Environment Agency Board are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. The appointments comply with the Code of Practice of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

The Environment Agency is a Non-Departmental Public Body, set up under the Environment Act 1995 to take an integrated approach to environmental protection and enhancement in England. It has major responsibilities in flood management, water resources and quality, climate change, land quality, chemicals, pollution prevention and control, waste, conservation and biodiversity, fisheries conservation, air quality and navigation.

Biographical details of Maria Adebowale-Schwarte

Maria is an urban renewal expert, focusing on the environment, local economic and social prosperity, green spaces, cross-sector collaboration and community participation. She is currently the Director of Living Space Project, an urban place making and green space think tank and consultancy. Maria is also an adviser to charitable foundations and grant makers.

Maria was the first recipient of the Clore Social Leadership Environment Fellowship and her prior appointments include Commissioner of the UK Sustainable Development Commission and a Commissioner of English Heritage.

She has served on a number of advisory committees for Defra, CLG, Natural England, Big Lottery, Joint Ministerial Task Force on Climate Change, and Nesta.
Maria is a patron of the UK Environmental Law Association, a trustee of the Trust for Conservation Volunteers, an ambassador of the Women’s Environment Network and Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund, South East Committee.

Published 27 June 2016