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  • Dame Fiona Reynolds elected Chairman of worldwide network of heritage and conservation charities

    Posted on September 8, 2015
    Photo: Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović

    Photo: Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović

    Members of INTO, the International National Trusts Organisation, the leading authority on the work and philosophy of National Trusts around the world, have today elected new Executive Committee members and a new Chairman at the 16th International Conference of National Trusts (ICNT) in Cambridge, UK.

    Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE replaces Professor Simon Molesworth AO QC, who is standing down after an eight year term as Chairman of INTO and has overseen the organisation’s development and growth since 2005.

    Dame Fiona was Director-General of the National Trust of England, Wales and Northern Ireland from 2001-2012 before becoming Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge (see biography).

    Speaking about her appointment Dame Fiona said: “I am honoured and delighted to accept the role of Chairman of INTO.  During my time with the National Trust in this country, I was lucky enough to attend five ICNTs and have watched INTO grow from a brave idea into a flourishing global network. I will relish the opportunity to renew those ties and to work closely with the INTO team to build a vibrant and active 21st century National Trust movement.’

    Outgoing Vice-Chairman of INTO, Bill Turner, said “I am delighted that Dame Fiona has accepted our invitation to become Chairman of INTO.  She brings with her a huge knowledge and understanding of the National Trust model and we are very fortunate to have her vision, passion and enthusiasm. I would also like to extend a sincere thank you to Professor Simon Molesworth AO QC, our outgoing Chairman, who has led INTO for the past decade with wise judgement, sound guidance and with great respect.”

    Emily Drani, Executive Director of the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda, was elected as INTO’s new Vice-Chairman.  Emily has been a long serving member of the INTO Executive Committee and her organisation co-hosted the last ICNT in Entebbe in 2013.

    'We've got the power' session

    ‘We’ve got the power’ session

    The new INTO Secretary is Irena Edwards, Chairman of the Czech National Trust and a trained solicitor.

    Natalie Bull (National Trust for Canada); HuiTing Hsu (Taiwan Environmental Information Association); Myung-Rae Cho (National Trust of Korea) and Simone Mizzi (Din l’Art Ħelwa, the National Trust of Malta) were elected to the INTO Executive Committee for the first time.

    Delegates from over 70 non-governmental organisations representing the international National Trust movement are this week shining a light on the threats to our global heritage, and sharing new strategies to counter these in the future as part of the 16th International Conference of National Trusts co-hosted by the National Trust of England, Wales and Northern Ireland and INTO in Cambridge from 7-11 September.

    The conference is being supported by American Express, the Helen Hamlyn Trust and the Headley Trust.  It was officially opened by Dame Helen Ghosh DCB, Director General, and with a video address by HRH the Prince of Wales, President of the National Trust for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.


    Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE became Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 2012. She came to the college from the National Trust, of which she was Director-General from 2001-2012. During her time at the National Trust she made it warmer and more welcoming, bringing the houses to life and raising the profile of the Trust’s work in the countryside.

    Before becoming DG of the Trust, she was Director of the Women’s Unit in the Cabinet Office (1998-2000), Director of the Council for the Protection of Rural England (now Campaign to Protect Rural England, 1987-98) and Secretary to the Council for National Parks (now Campaign to Protect National Parks, 1980-87).  Fiona was also a volunteer with the National Trust from the mid-1980s until the late 1990s, first as a member of the Thames and Chilterns Regional Committee and later as an elected member of Council.  She chaired the Sutton House Local Committee in Hackney.

    Fiona is the Senior Non-Executive Director on the Executive Board of the BBC, a Non-Executive Director of Wessex Water and became chair of Green Alliance in December 2014.

    Fiona was appointed CBE for services to the environment and conservation in 1998 and DBE in 2008. She is married with three daughters and lives near Cirencester when not in Cambridge.  She loves walking, reading, classical music and opera.

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