Our governance

The main decision-making, executive and managerial bodies at the Rural Payments Agency.

Agency Management Board

The Agency Management Board (AMB) is responsible for setting the strategy and priorities for the RPA and making decisions to support Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) objectives. The board is made up of non-executive directors, a Defra director and RPA members. The AMB is supported by the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (ARAC) that has responsibility for risk assessment, auditing and accounting.

Board members

  • Trevor Spires (AMB chair)
  • Peter Conway (AMB member and ARAC chair)
  • David Cotton (AMB and ARAC member)
  • Rad Thomas (AMB member)
  • Angela Gillibrand (AMB and ARAC member)
  • Sarah Church, Defra Director (AMB member)

RPA Executive Team

The RPA Executive Team (ET) is made up of the chief executive and 10 executive directors. The purpose of the ET is to:

  • set the policy and direction for the agency and take responsibility for carrying out the 5 Year Plan and Annual Business Plan
  • take overall authority to run the agency day to day, including budget delegations
  • make decisions that are not delegated and consider escalations to the Agency Management Board and to Defra
  • consider people management-related issues for the agency, review budgets and communications and manage internal change initiatives
  • approve and set targets for the organisation and consider progress against them

ET members

The ET is led by Paul Caldwell, the RPA’s Chief Executive (and AMB member). Other ET members are:

  • Mark Ashenden, Interim External Relations Director
  • Julie Donnelly, Interim Change Director
  • Emma Appleby, Design Director
  • Ed Schofield, Information and Technology Director
  • Nicola Bettesworth, Human Resources Director
  • John Carter, Planning and Performance Director (AMB member)
  • Ali Johnson, Interim Operations Director
  • Anne-Marie Millar, Finance, Assurance and Commercial Director (AMB member)
  • Alison Webster, Rural Development Director
  • Sarah Milum, EU Reporting and Compliance Director