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Our Trustees

Our board of Trustees work together to set Tree Aid's strategic direction. They ensure we are true to our mission and values and check our progress against our strategy.

"Tree Aid has successfully worked in sub-Saharan Africa for three decades now, earning the respect of local people and aid agencies alike. As a professional forester, I know that if forests are protected, water and soils needed for agriculture will also thrive, helping communities become self-sufficient. Using trees to combat poverty seems such an obvious win-win to me."
Shireen Chambers MBE, Chair of Trustees
Headshot of Shireen Chambers, Tree Aid Chair Of Trustees

Shireen Chambers, Chair

Shireen studied forestry and soil science at Bangor University working with the government of the Bahamas to set up a new forestry department in the 1980s. She then worked with the Central Scotland Forest and continued as a practitioner in community and urban forestry throughout the UK. Shireen has been in her current role as Executive Director of the Institute of Chartered Foresters since 2006. Her non-executive board appointments have included Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Forest Research, Forestry Commission’s Regional Advisory Committee for Mid-Scotland (Chair) and Edinburgh Green Belt Trust. Shireen was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2019 for her service to forestry. She has been the Tree Aid Chair since 2017.

Terence Jagger, Vice Chair

Terence spent his early career in business in the UK, Australia and Italy. He then joined the civil service for 15 years, including spending a year in Afghanistan. Most recently, he was Chief Executive of Crown Agents, working across developing countries in Africa and Asia. He has previously served as a non-executive or trustee of many organisations, and is currently Chair of Bath Spa University, a board member of the London Pensions Fund Authority, the Single Source Regulations Office and the Marine Management Organisation. Terence continues to work in international development and has a long-standing interest in trees and forests, and in ecosystem restoration and its benefits for human societies. Terence has been Tree Aid's Vice Chair since 2017.

Judith Coates, Treasurer

Judith is a Chartered Accountant with more than 25 years’ experience in finance having held senior roles in both the commercial sector at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Laporte plc and in the charitable sector as Chief Financial Officer of Impetus — The Private Equity Foundation and Chief Operating Officer of StreetDoctors. Judith is currently Head of Finance and Risk at Synchronicity Earth. She has an MSc from London University in Environmental Management and is firmly committed to protecting the environment and the third sector. Judith has been Tree Aid's Treasurer since 2017.

Alex Rees

Alex Rees has 20 years of leadership in the international development field, inspiring and influencing change in policy and programmes. His current role, as Strategy and Portfolio Lead at Wasafiri Consulting, is deepening his experience of steering multi-stakeholder partnerships seeking to overcome complex problems in agriculture and food security in Africa. He has a broad and vibrant network, and has substantial experience of raising institutional funds. He is delighted to be a Trustee for Tree Aid after a MA in Environment and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies in 1998 established a long-term interest in how natural resource management interplays with human development. Alex has been a Tree Aid trustee since 2016. 

Headshot of Trevor Reaney, Tree Aid Trustee with grey background and photoframe behind

Trevor Reaney

Trevor retired from his post as Clerk and Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Assembly at the end of June 2016. During a career spanning both the private and public sectors, he served as CEO of three public sector bodies in Northern Ireland for 20 years. These roles have provided extensive experience in strategic leadership and corporate governance. Trevor currently holds positions as Non-Executive Director of two public bodies, is a Trustee of the CS Lewis Institute (Belfast) and undertakes international parliamentary development consultancy projects. Trevor has been a Tree Aid trustee since 2016.

Elizabeth Davis

Elizabeth is an experienced senior leader in the public sector, with a particular interest in good governance, workforce and organisational design. As an HR practitioner, she has had roles in international development with both the UK government’s Department for International Development and the United Nations. Elizabeth was part of the senior team in Wales that brought together the Forestry Commission, Environment Agency and Countryside Council. She loves trees, grows them and is keen to promote Tree Aid’s vision, mission and values. Elizabeth has been a Tree Aid trustee since 2018. 

Tom de Pass

Tom has spent over 20 years in senior communications roles in the not-for-profit and private sectors. He’s currently Director of Marketing & Communications at NHS South, Central & West. Tom loves Tree Aid’s holistic philosophy: that trees can improve biodiversity, reverse soil degradation, provide food and nutrition and create opportunities to address poverty and generally improve lives in some of the poorest parts of the world. Tom has been a Tree Aid trustee since 2018. 

Nick Pride

Nick is Director of Individual Giving and Loyalty at Marie Curie, which he joined in December 2019. He brings to the board a wide range of skills and experience of fundraising and direct marketing, which helps to challenge, benchmark and strengthen Tree Aid’s public fundraising. Nick has been a Tree Aid trustee since 2018. 

Headshot of Philip Songhurst Thonet, Tree Aid Trustee

Philip Songhurst-Thonet

Having grown up in Africa, Philip was struck by the value of trees to communities for energy, protection, construction and food. As a Management Consultant with Ernst & Young and more recently Director for Control Risks, Philip has worked with high profile organisations to improve risk and security management, financial measures, system controls and procedures. Philip is also a coach and mentor for UnLtd, a support network for social entrepreneurs, and he has advised start up charities on best practice management techniques. Philip has been a Tree Aid trustee since 2018.