15 December 2014
Professor Stephen Blackmore, Chairman of BGCI, is delighted to announce that, following a search process that attracted an exceptionally strong field of candidates, Dr Paul Smith has been appointed as the next Secretary General of BGCI and will take up the post in February 2015. Well known internationally for his leadership of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, Paul brings a wealth of experience in plant conservation and research to the role.
Professor Blackmore said, “Paul Smith is a worthy successor to Sara Oldfield who has led BGCI with such distinction for the last decade. I am confident that he will further strengthen BGCI’s international partnerships, supporting botanic gardens in every aspect of their work and tackling the urgent priorities identified in the Plant Conservation Report 2014.”
Accepting the appointment, Paul Smith said “I am both excited and honoured to be appointed as the Secretary General of Botanic Gardens Conservation International. I have had the pleasure of working with Sara Oldfield and the excellent BGCI team over many years and I know first-hand that BGCI is highly regarded internationally for its work in plant conservation policy and practice. I very much look forward to working with BGCI’s partners on the urgent challenge of preventing plant species extinctions, and I wish Sara every success in her future endeavours.”