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National Forest Company Directors Appointed to New Government Programme

Wednesday, 27th January 2010

The Public Appointments Ambassadors programme is led by the Government Equalities Office and Cabinet Office and was launched at a high profile event in Whitehall on 14th January by Government Equalities Office Minister of State Maria Eagle MP.

Valerie Owen is a chartered architect, town planner and surveyor and, as well as her work with NFC and other bodies, is Chair of the Thames Region Environmental Protection Advisory Committee and a Member of the Church Buildings Council.

Judith Webb runs her own business and is a non-executive Forestry Commissioner and Chair of the England Woodland Biodiversity Group, as well as her role with NFC and with other organisations.

Public Bodies make decisions that affect our day to day lives, but too few women, people from ethnic minorities and disabled people sit on boards like the Arts Council, the governing bodies of local hospitals and the Competition Commission.

Judith said: "It’s an honour to be selected as an ambassador for this campaign. I have found being a public appointee hugely interesting and worthwhile.’  Valerie said: ‘I hope my positive experience will inspire others from different backgrounds and skills to come forward for public service."

Valerie and Judith join over 180 ambassadors, who are current public appointees from across the UK, including playwright and Deputy Chair of the British Museum, Bonnie Greer, and Peter Cooke, Vice-Chair of the Independent Living Fund.  As ambassadors they will show why it’s vital to have people with a wide range of skills and experience involved in the important decisions public boards make, playing a key role in highlighting the benefits of serving on a board and encouraging more people from under-represented groups to apply.

Two new public appointment mentoring schemes were also launched at the event.

To find out more about public appointments, current vacancies and how to apply for new mentoring programmes, visit