Governance

An historic group photograph of staff on the Museum's front steps

The Museum is managed by the Museum Director and the Executive Board.

The Board of Trustees is responsible for overseeing the management of the Museum.

The Museum Director, Doug Gurr, reports to the Board of Trustees. 

The Executive Board is responsible for running the Museum under the leadership of the Museum Director.

The Board of Trustees

The board is composed of 12 members: eight are selected by the Prime Minister, one (Royal Society Trustee) is nominated by the DCMS and three are chosen by the board itself.

Trustees are appointed for four years, and may serve a second consecutive four-year term before standing down.

The Board of Trustees meets four times a year.

The members of the Board of Trustees are listed below. Click the links to download their biographies in PDF documents.

Read the Trustees' register of interests.

Two trustee positions are currently vacant.

The Executive Board

The Executive Board is the Museum's primary decision making body and is responsible for reporting upwards to the chief governing body, The Board of Trustees.

The Executive Board approves the Museum's policies, procedures, programmes and projects. It formulates and monitors the Museum's corporate plan, and has collective responsibility for the entire Museum.

The current members of the Executive Board are:

  • Doug Gurr - Museum Director
  • Dr Tim Littlewood - Executive Director of Science
  • Neil Greenwood - Executive Director of Finance and Corporate Services
  • Fiona McWilliams - Executive Director of Development
  • Clare Matterson CBE - Executive Director of Engagement
  • Alison Davis - Chief Information Officer
  • Prof Richard Herrington - Head of Earth Sciences
  • Keith Jennings - Director of Master-planning and Projects
  • Alison Lodge - Director of HR
  • Prof Ken Norris - Head of Life Sciences
  • Dan Phelan - Director of Communications, Digital and Marketing

Read the Executive Board register of interests.

The expenses and hospitality information for the Executive Board of Directors at the Museum is published annually, following the publication of our annual reports and accounts. Read it on the UK Government website.

The Audit and Risk Committee

The Audit and Risk Committee is a committee of the Board of Trustees.

It provides the board with assurance that adequate corporate governance, risk management and internal control processes are in place and working effectively. It also reviews the board's code of practice, register of interests and code of conduct for staff.

The current members of the Audit and Risk Committee are:

  • Chair - Hilary Newiss
  • Mr Colin Hudson (co-opted)
  • Mr Robert Noel
  • Harris Bokhari OBE 
  • Prof Sir Stephen Sparks CMG FRS CBE

Those who attend the committee’s meetings include:

  • The Museum Director
  • Jan Day - Head of Risk and Assurance
  • Mr Neil Greenwood - Executive Director of Finance and Corporate Services
  • External audit representatives

Read the Audit and Risk Committee's terms of reference PDF.

Read the Audit and Risk Committee register of interests PDF.

The Museum maintains a register of gifts and hospitality which is reviewed by the Audit Committee. Information can be made available upon request.

Information on allowances and expenses can be made available on request.

Our vision and strategy

We are creating advocates for the planet.

Our accounts

Find out how the Museum is funded and how we use our resources.

Diversity and inclusion

Diversity is one of our critical values. Find how we are making the Museum an inclusive and welcoming space.

  • Gender pay gap reports

    We publish information every year showing how large the pay gap is between male and female employees, and establishing action plans to reduce that gap. 

    The Museum's latest report shows a reduction in the median gender pay gap from 6% in 2020 to 5.1% in 2021.

    This is a result of actions to address the gender imbalance in the more senior positions in the Museum. Our Management Board has an equal gender split and we have been working hard to encourage flexible working in our more senior roles wherever possible. Maintaining a gender balance will be an important part of our workforce diversity and inclusion action plan. 

    Read the Museum's gender pay gap reports in the PDFs below.

  • Freedom of information (FOI)

    The Freedom of Information Act gives any person the right to request information held by public authorities including the Museum.

    Information that the Museum and the Trading Company proactively make available falls into seven categories under the requirements of the Information Commissioner’s Office:

    How to make an FOI request

    Requests must be made in writing, either by email to foi@nhm.ac.uk or by letter to the Information Compliance Officer at the following address:

    Information Compliance Officer

    Information Management

    Natural History Museum

    Cromwell Road

    London SW7 5BD

    The Museum has a duty to inform the applicant whether the information is held, and supply it within 20 working days, if possible in the format requested.

    Re-use of Museum information

    If you wish to re-use the information for any purpose other than private study, non-commercial research or news reporting, you need to submit a request for re-use stating the intended purpose. This can be included in your FOI request, to be processed simultaneously; if you submit it later, the Museum may take up to another 20 working days to respond.

    Exemption from disclosure

    Information may be exempt from disclosure if it would affect or compromise:

    • an individual’s right under the Data Protection Act
    • the health, safety and/or security of Museum staff and visitors
    • the Museum’s commercial confidentiality
    • the protection of the environment under the Environmental Information Regulations

    Charges

    Generally no charge is made for responding to FOI requests. If the work required to deal with a request will take more than 18 hours, the Museum is not obliged to respond. Alternatively, a fee of £25 per hour may be charged once this limit is reached. However, the applicant will be informed if this 18 hour limit is going to be exceeded, and will be given the opportunity to revise the request in order to bring it within the time frame.

    Appeals procedure

    If you are not satisfied by the reply to your request for information, you are entitled to appeal. The first step is to seek an internal review of the Museum’s handling of your request. Please submit your application for a review in writing to the Information Compliance Officer at the address above. The review will be undertaken by a senior member of staff who was not involved in the initial response to your request.

    If you are dissatisfied with the outcome or the conduct of the Museum’s internal review, you may seek an independent review from the Information Commissioner. Report your concern via the ICO website at https://ico.org.uk/concerns or call their helpline on 0303 123 1113.

  • Re-use of our information

    The Museum complies with the Re-use of Public Sector Information (PSI) Regulations 2015 and we encourage the re-use of the information that we produce, hold and disseminate.

    We are open and transparent, and treat all applications to re-use in a fair and non-discriminatory way.

    Our Public Task statement and Asset List contains:

    • main categories of information that can be re-used
    • what re-use conditions/licences apply
    • where to find information on charges
    • how to submit a re-use request
    • how to make a complaint if you are not satisfied

    Download the Museum's Public Task statement and Asset List PDF (293KB) (including licence terms).

    Exclusive arrangements

    We have some exclusive arrangements in relation to the following activities:

    • Book publishing
    • Image licensing in select countries

    For further information, please contact us.