Harris Bokhari OBE (left) and Professor Yadvinder Malhi FRS (right) © Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London.

Two new Trustee appointments for Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Yadvinder Malhi FRS and Harris Bokhari OBE to the Board of Trustees. Both were appointed by the Prime Minister and have commenced an initial four-year term.

Lord Green, Chair of the Trustees of the Natural History Museum says: “Yadvinder and Harris bring to the Board an impressive spectrum of expertise from ground-breaking climate science to the championing of diversity and inclusion. I am delighted to welcome them as Trustees and look forward to working with them to steer the implementation of the Museum’s bold new strategy of creating advocates for the planet.”

Yadvinder Malhi is Professor of Ecosystem Science at the University of Oxford, Jackson Senior Research Fellow in Biodiversity and Conservation at Oriel College, Oxford, and Director of the Oxford Centre for Tropical Forests and the Oxford University Biodiversity Network. His research interests have focused on the impacts of climate change and other types of change on the biosphere, and how protection and restoration of the biosphere can contribute to mitigating and adapting to climate change. Much of his work has focussed on the tropics, and he has established a network of intensive study and monitoring of tropical ecosystems spanning across Amazonia, Africa and Asia. His fieldwork has taken him to some of the remotest places on Earth, and also to some of the most rapidly changing.

He also has a strong interest in the many possible forms of ecosystem restoration in the UK and Europe, how such restoration can be scaled up, and how it can best contribute to biodiversity recovery and climate change goals. A former President of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, Professor Malhi is Chair of Trustees of the Global Biodiversity Foundation and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He has authored or co-authored over 400 scientific papers on ecosystems and climate change.

He says: “I have been enthralled by the Natural History Museum since my first visits as a child, and I am delighted to be now joining it as a Trustee. I believe no entity in the UK better celebrates the magnificence of the natural world.

I am particularly excited in helping the Museum become a leader and partner in helping address what I see as the great challenges of our time: tackling climate change and the restoration of the natural world, both within the United Kingdom and internationally. The Museum brings a wealth of scientific expertise, practical experience and public reach that has so much potential to make a really significant contribution to tackling these challenges.”

Harris Bokhari OBE is a social entrepreneur, public engagement advisor and chartered accountant. He serves as a board member of Prince's Trust Mosaic Initiative and its first honorary patron and as an ambassador for the British Asian Trust. In 2013, he was awarded the prestigious Beacon Award for Philanthropy Advocate, where he now serves as a member of the awards judging panel.

In 2012, in memory of the late father, Naz Bokhari OBE, Harris co-founded the Naz Legacy Foundation, which went on to receive the 2014 Big Society Award from the Prime Minister. In 2016 he organised the first youth interfaith iftar at Lambeth Palace, bringing together the Archbishop of Canterbury, Chief Rabbi, Mayor of London and over 100 youth leaders from every London borough - representing all faiths and none.

Harris founded Patchwork Foundation in 2010, recognising the vital need for a vehicle through which to promote the political and democratic engagement of under-represented communities. In 2018 he was awarded the Diversity Champion Award by the Cabinet Office as part of its inaugural National Democracy Week.

Harris serves as a member of the Mayor of London’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group, an Independent Member of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Committee, and an Independent Member of the Community and Voluntary Service Honours Committee - also sitting on the Diversity and Inclusion Group. He was awarded an OBE in Her Majesty's 2015 Birthday Honours List for services to young people and interfaith relations; named by the Financial News Extra Mile List as one of 40 people in finance who go further for good causes; named as one of London's most influential figures by the Evening Standard's Progress 1000 List; and awarded Imperial College’s inaugural Distinguished Alumni.

He says: "I am delighted to be joining the Natural History Museum as a trustee. The museum is a true national treasure, home to one of the world’s most important natural history collections, with a crucial mandate to educate on some of our most prescient global issues.

I am looking forward to doing all I can to bring the awe-inspiring experience of visiting the Natural History Museum to new audiences. I personally have so many fond memories of roaming the Museum as a child and getting lost in the new worlds it exposed to me. Sadly for many other children of BAME backgrounds this is has not been the case. Therefore, one of my personal priorities will be to ensure that the Museum continues to reach out to diverse audiences, so that we can all equally share in its joy and wonder.”

The new appointees join the other current members of the Board of Trustees: Chair - The Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint; Prof Sir John Beddington; Dame Frances Cairncross; Hilary Newiss; Robert Noel; Simon Patterson; Prof Sir Stephen Sparks; Prof Dame Janet Thornton and Dr Kim L Winser.

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Notes for editors

For more information on the Museum’s governance and Trustees please visit the Natural History Museum’s Website: https://www.nhm.ac.uk/about-us/governance.html

Natural History Media contact: Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 5654/ (0)779 969 0151 Email: press@nhm.ac.uk

About the Natural History Museum The Natural History Museum is both a world-leading science research centre and the most-visited natural history museum in Europe. With a vision of a future in which both people and the planet thrive, it is uniquely positioned to be a powerful champion for balancing humanity’s needs with those of the natural world.

It is custodian of one of the world’s most important scientific collections comprising over 80 million specimens. The scale of this collection enables researchers from all over the world to document how species have and continue to respond to environmental changes - which is vital in helping predict what might happen in the future and informing future policies and plans to help the planet.

The Museum’s 300 scientists continue to represent one of the largest groups in the world studying and enabling research into every aspect of the natural world. Their science is contributing critical data to help the global fight to save the future of the planet from the major threats of climate change and biodiversity loss through to finding solutions such as the sustainable extraction of natural resources.

The Museum uses its enormous global reach and influence to meet its mission to create advocates for the planet - to inform, inspire and empower everyone to make a difference for nature. We welcome over five million visitors each year; our digital output reaches hundreds of thousands of people in over 200 countries each month and our touring exhibitions have been seen by around 30 million people in the last 10 years.

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