Alan was appointed as Chief Strategy and Reform Officer in March 2015. He also became Deputy Chief Executive in November 2018 and will provide cover until Marian Spain starts as Interim Chief Executive in December.
Alan spearheaded the development of Conservation 21, Natural England’s new conservation strategy. This sets out ambitious plans to fundamentally change the way nature conservation is practised: working at a larger scale, securing lasting benefits, and putting people at the very heart of our thinking.
Alan’s background is in zoology and applied conservation practice. He set up English Nature’s first biodiversity programme and provided operational leadership across south east England for many years.
In his more recent executive leadership roles Alan has focused on working across sectors to transform delivery services and achieve better conservation outcomes. He:
- reorganised Natural England’s systems for the provision of statutory planning advice, bringing greater transparency and consistency
- lead the introduction of commercial services to Natural England’s business model
- oversaw the reform of systems for protected species
Chief Strategy and Reform Officer
The Chief Strategy and Reform Officer is responsible for developing and maintaining a single integrated organisational view of the outcomes Natural England is seeking to achieve and how it will best realise these ambitions through Conservation 21. Responsibilities include:
- leading the organisation’s strategy and direction by developing innovative and strategic solutions to the environment’s and the organisation’s conservation issues
- leading and embedding change, innovation and reform across the organisation
- providing advice to government to inform strategy and policy development across the organisation’s remit
- developing broader cross-government opportunities to benefit people and the natural environment, for example through strategic infrastructure planning
- building our reputation and sustainable positive relationships with national partners and stakeholders