Our governance

Details of Defra's governance structure.

Defra Board

The Defra Board provides strategic, corporate leadership to the department and has particular responsibility for monitoring performance and delivery. It meets once a quarter.

The membership consists of:

Ministers

  • George Eustice, Secretary of State
  • Zac Goldsmith, Minister of State for Pacific and the Environment
  • Lord Gardiner, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural and Biosecurity and Lords Minister
  • Rebecca Pow, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
  • Victoria Prentis, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State

Senior officials

  • Tamara Finkelstein, Permanent Secretary
  • Sarah Homer, Director General, Chief Operating Officer
  • Andrew Pattison, Defra group Finance Director
  • Shaun Gallagher, Director General for EU Exit and International Trade
  • David Hill, Acting Director General Environment, Rural and Marine
  • David Kennedy, Director General for Food, Farming and Biosecurity
  • Paul Kissack, Director General for Strategy and Change
  • Christine Middlemiss, Chief Veterinary Officer
  • Gideon Henderson, Chief Scientific Adviser

Non-Executives

  • Henry Dimbleby, Lead non-executive Director
  • Ben Goldsmith, Non-executive Director
  • Elizabeth Buchanan, Non-executive Director
  • Colin Day, Non-executive Director
  • Lizzie Noel, Non-executive Director
  • Emma Howard Boyd, Ex-officio, Chair of the Environment Agency
  • Tony Juniper, Ex-officio, Chair of Natural England

Executive Committee (ExCo)

The Executive Committee (ExCo) is a sub-committee of the Board, it:

  • provides a strategic steer
  • makes decisions where appropriate on cross-cutting Defra group issues
  • reviews plans and progress on improving Defra’s capacity and capability for the future
  • oversees cross departmental initiatives to inform strategic decisions by ministers on their priorities and spending plans

Membership

  • Tamara Finkelstein, Permanent Secretary
  • David Kennedy, Director General for Food, Farming and Biosecurity
  • Sarah Homer, Director General, Chief Operating Officer
  • Shaun Gallagher, Director General for EU Exit and International Trade
  • Paul Kissack, Director General for Strategy and Change
  • Lisa Adams, Group HR Director
  • Toby Nation, Group Director of Communications
  • Sonia Phippard, Director General for Environment, Rural and Marine
  • Sir James Bevan, CEO of the Environment Agency
  • Andrew Pattison, Group Finance Director

Board meetings

The board meets quarterly.

Meeting notes from earlier meetings can be found on the National Archives website.

Expenses and hospitality

In the interests of transparency we regularly publish summaries of meetings, and details of expenses and hospitality.