Environment Agency – Board Recruitment

Neera Shah
Neera Shah 2nd November 2023

About the role


The Environment Agency is the leading public body for protecting and improving the environment in England.

The Environment Agency’s vision is to create better places for people and wildlife and support sustainable development. It has three main business areas:

  • Flood and coastal erosion risk management;
  • water, land and biodiversity;
  • regulation of industry.

Introduction from the Chair

Dear Candidate,

The Environment Agency’s purpose is to create better places for people and wildlife, and promote sustainable development. We are accountable to Parliament through Defra and are their biggest non-departmental public body, with around 13,000 staff and an annual budget of approximately £1.7 billion.

The Environment Agency’s expertise spans science, local knowledge, environmental practice, and finance. Our Board help government, businesses and communities to understand the benefits of particular environmental measures, as well as the risks of not acting. As a Board member you will be making decisions that will help create a nation resilient to climate change; with clean air, water and land; and green growth and a sustainable future. You will be helping the Environment Agency to focus on delivering outcomes that benefit the people and places we serve and to implement the long-term goals in our current strategy, EA2025. You will be working across sectors and government departments to capitalise on the opportunities presented by the government’s 2023 Environmental Improvement Plan.

Members of the Environment Agency Board have the opportunity to impact a wide range of important environmental issues, from the regulation of waste, water, nuclear and carbon intensive industries, through to flood risk management. Joining our Board would be your chance to influence action on our most critical challenges – water quality and waste crime – and help shape these for the future.

For this new cohort of Board members we are looking for people with knowledge and experience in finance, accountancy, audit, digital transformation, innovation and pensions.

The Environment Agency is committed to having an inclusive culture. We have an ambition to be the best employer for equality, diversity and inclusion in the country. Being a more inclusive organisation that is representative of the communities we serve leads to better outcomes for the environment and communities. We are a place-based organisation and it is important that our Board members bring a regional presence and local understanding.

Thank you for your interest in becoming a member of the Environment Agency Board. I look forward to hearing from you.

Very best wishes,

Alan Lovell, Chair of the Environment Agency

Role description

The Environment Agency Board:

  • sets the strategy, drives performance and holds the organisation to account;
  • promotes positive and constructive relationships with stakeholders;
  • focuses on building consensus and finding practical solutions;
  • supports and encourages the executive team and staff through constructive challenge and celebrating success;
  • provides stewardship for public funds and environmental outcomes.

The Board is made up of a Chair and up to 14 other members.

The Board has a collegiate style. It works with the Environment Agency’s executive directors to bring a range of knowledge, expertise and insight to the organisation and horizon scans for future opportunities and risks.

The Board is directly accountable to ministers for all aspects of the Environment Agency and its performance. Ministers provide guidance and direction and expect the Board to ensure that the organisation fulfils its statutory duties and operates with propriety, regularity, economy, efficiency and effectiveness.

You can find the specific responsibilities of the Board in the Environment Agency’s Framework Document.

Board members:

provide senior strategic leadership to help the organisation deliver its long-term strategy EA2025, which encompasses the national flood and coastal erosion risk management strategy,

 climate resilience, the road to net zero and sustainable growth, to create a better place for people and wildlife;
  • provide relevant professional insight into key corporate or operational business issues;
  • attend Board meetings and attend and chair Board committees;
  • represent the Environment Agency externally;
  • serve as a lead member for one or more of the Environment Agency’s operational areas, supporting senior staff on the delivery of national and local priorities.

Regulation of appointment

This post is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. For more information, please refer to the Commissioner’s website 

Person specification

Essential criteria

1. An ability to question, challenge constructively and influence decision-making as part of the governance of a large organisation, bringing a diversity of opinions and views.
2. An ability to analyse issues at a strategic level in ways which are impartial, creative, innovative, and focused on finding solutions.
3. A proven ability to influence and engage a strong and diverse network of people and organisations, and the ability to inspire confidence in stakeholders at all levels.
4. Knowledge and / or interest in natural environment, ecology, agriculture, or land management.
This recruitment will seek to fill a minimum of three vacancies on the Board. Successful candidates for these vacancies should also be able to demonstrate expertise in one or more of the following specified areas:
Financial/ Audit: Senior financial and/or audit experience, including serving or chairing an Audit and Risk Committee for a complex organisation.

Digital/ technology/ innovation: Senior leadership experience in driving innovative practices, or leading a digitally enabled business transformation, for a complex, data-led organisation.

Pensions: Senior pensions experience, including sitting on or chairing a large pension fund or committee

Application and selection process

To apply you will need to create an account or sign in to “Apply for Public Appointment Service”  gov.uk by the deadline of midday on 13 November  2023 quoting reference APPT04-23. Once logged onto your account, click on ‘apply for this role’ and follow the on-screen instructions.

To apply, all candidates are required to submit:

  • A CV of no more than two sides of A4 with education, professional qualifications and employment history and the names and contact details for two referees, together with their statement of suitability.
  • A statement of suitability should give evidence of the strength and depth of your ability to meet the essential criteria for this role. Please provide specific examples to demonstrate how you meet each of the criteria (max two pages please).
  • equality information
  • information relating to any outside interests or reputational issues

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