Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew announces Susan Raikes as Director of Wakehurst

Susan Raikes has been appointed as Director of Wakehurst, Kew’s wild botanic garden in Sussex and will join in June. She leaves her position as Director of Learning at the Science Museum Group, where she served as a member of the Group Executive for the past six years. Prior to this, Susan worked as Head of Learning and National Partnerships at the British Museum for a decade. Notably, Susan was the 2012/2013 Arts Council England Museums Fellow on the Clore Cultural Leadership Programme and is also a curator and author. 

With a proven track record and passion for leading teams that ignite curiosity and inspire the next generation, Susan’s tenure at the Science Museum Group has included development of Technicians: The David Sainsbury Gallery at the Science Museum and the international award-winning Wonderlab+ website, as well as leading on SMG’s commitment to be Open for All, underscoring her commitment to accessible and excellent learning for everyone. This experience will help Wakehurst deliver its ambitious goals to engage the wider public in the beauty and scientific value of the Wakehurst site, meet visitor and member targets, as well as plan for future developments in the landscape.

Wakehurst, Kew’s wild botanic garden in the Sussex High Weald, features ancient and beautiful landscapes across 535 acres. Its diverse collection of plants from Britain and across the globe thrive with a tapestry of innovative gardens, temperate woodlands, meadows and wetlands. Wakehurst is also a centre for UK biodiversity and global conservation, seed research and ecosystem science. At its heart is Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, the world’s largest store of seeds from wild plant species. 

Expressing her enthusiasm for the role, Susan says: “I am delighted to be joining Wakehurst at this pivotal moment in its evolution, when advancing our scientific understanding of plants and landscapes has never been more important. Wakehurst was a favourite destination for day trips during my childhood in West Sussex and I can’t wait to have the opportunity to share it with new generations of visitors.” 

Richard Barley, Director of Gardens at RBG Kew says: “We are excited to announce that Susan is joining and bringing her expertise to Wakehurst, I look forward to working with her and building on the outstanding work of the Wakehurst leadership team who continue to build its strength as a multi-layered biodiverse research centre, a rich landscape visitor attraction and as a hub for cultural and family events.”

Lorraine Lecourtois assumed the interim directorship in October 2023 following the departure of Ed Ikin. She will return to her position of Head of Public Programmes continuing her work to establish RBG Kew as the world leader for education and engagement in nature through designing and executing inspirational experiences and exhibitions to drive public engagement.

Two new independent members of Wakehurst Advisory’s Committee have also been announced, Dr Lucy Sutherland, Director of National Botanic Garden Wales, and Esme Ward, Director of Manchester Museum.  The purpose of the Wakehurst Advisory Committee is to help drive, challenge and support the ambition, innovation and excellence in all aspects of Wakehurst and its role within RBG Kew. 

Latest

University of Chichester announces appointment of new Vice-Chancellor

DFN Project SEARCH appoints learning disability expert Kirsty Matthews as new Chief Executive

Jonathan Shaw appointed as new Headmaster of Ellesmere College

Elizabeth Newman appointed as Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres

Queen Mary’s School Announces New Head for 2025

Canterbury Christ Church University appoints Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost

Steering the family business forward: Interview with Gouy Hamilton-Fisher, Director Colleagues & Support, Timpson Group

Jewish Museum London appoints Sally Angel as new Chief Executive

Foundling Museum announces new Chair

The White Horse Federation appoints CEO

Social Mobility Day 2024

Concern Worldwide (UK) appoints new Executive Director

Richard Greenhalgh succeeded by Christian Brodie as Chair of United Learning’s Group Board

We have moved! Our new London location

Managing Risk in Professional Services: It’s not just about protecting the firm, but enabling it – Interview with Alastair Levy

Crystal Palace Park Trust welcomes Victoria Pinnington as new CEO

Nadia Fall appointed as new Artistic Director of The Young Vic Theatre

How lawyers are coming to terms with their own ‘Now and Then’

Nicola Dudley announced as new Head of Queen Margaret’s School for Girls

Gordon Seabright appointed new Chief Executive of the Horniman Museum and Gardens

The General Pharmaceutical Council appoints new Chief Strategy Officer

A healthy perspective on executive search

Foot Anstey LLP appoints Non-Executive Director

South By Southwest comes to London

Saxton Bampfylde in action with charity Smart Works

Sue Ryder announces new Chief Executive

What will healthcare look like over the coming decade? Interview with Gabrielle Mathews

Liz Truss was correct. Well, on one fundamental point

General Dental Council announces new Chief Executive and Registrar

Andrew Comben appointed new CEO of Britten Pears Arts

Dr Nicholas Cullinan OBE appointed as new Director of the British Museum

Saxton Bampfylde partners with Family Business UK

Professor Robert Mokaya appointed Provost and DVC at University of Sheffield

30 years on from the first Code: A personal account of the Corporate Governance Revolution

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2024

Steering the family business forward: Interview with Emma Fox, CEO of Berry Bros & Rudd

Leadership in the age of AI: CEO Breakfast with Doug Gurr, Director of the National History Museum

Sustainability Dinner with speaker James Cameron, Chair of Crown Agents

What will healthcare look like over the coming decade? Interview with Nigel Edwards

Middlesex University announces its new Vice-Chancellor

SafeLives appoints new CEO

Do the right thing: ESG in 2024 – Interview with Lisa Hart Shepherd, CEO of Lamp House Strategy

A Healthy Perspective Podcast – Helen Buckingham, Nuffield Trust

New GPhC Council members appointed for 2024 and 2025

RICS senior governance appointments

An Independent Mind: Sharpening the role of a law firm NED

CLCH appoints new Director of Strategy, Partnerships and Integration

Into Film appoints Fiona Evans as new CEO

An evening for current and aspiring non-executives with Kenny Imafidon

V&A announces Director of Collections and Chief Curator

RNLI appoints new leader to take charity into third century of lifesaving

Erika Lewis appointed CEO at Connected Places Catapult

Alex Frazer Announced as the New Head of Bancroft’s

Sue Baillie appointed as Woldingham’s new Head

Royal Hospital School appoints new Head

The University of Manchester appoints Professor Duncan Ivison as next President & Vice-Chancellor

Championing the Mission – Interview with Jonathan Morgan

Quadrant Chambers appoints Sarah Longden as new COO

New Oasis Community Learning Chief Executive Announced

Rachel Kent made Financial Regulators Complaints Commissioner

Steering the family business forward: Interview with Paul Drechsler CBE

Indhu Rubasingham appointed as Director of the National Theatre

Northumbria University, Newcastle appoints new members to Board of Governors

Professor Tom Crick joins DCMS as Chief Scientific Adviser

Norwich Theatre appoints Tom Sleigh as new Chair

MOSL announces Cliff Kamara as new Board member

Saxton Bampfylde welcomes Partner Hannah Scarisbrick back to the firm

Saxton Bampfylde ranked in Financial Times UK’s Leading Recruiters 2024

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation and Association Welcomes Martin Houghton-Brown as Secretary General

Royal British Legion Announces New Director General

English Heritage announces New Blue Plaques Panel Members

Paul Ridd named Director of Edinburgh International Film Festival

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra announces Lord Tony Hall as new Chair

Team Consulting appoints new CEO

UK Civil Aviation Authority Appoints Rob Bishton as the new Chief Executive

The Box appoints Rebecca Bridgman as Head of Collections and Programme

English Heritage appoints Dr Nick Merriman as its new Chief Executive

Breadth and depth: leading across the regulatory landscape

Who’s Moving in Healthcare – August-September 2023

Wise counsel: bringing an external perspective to Higher Education

Looking through a different lens: a scientific scope from academia to government

Outside In: Leveraging External Perspectives in Higher Education

Samori Gambrah announced as Chair for New Art Exchange

Chris Auty appointed as new Director at London Film School

Cherian Mathews appointed as new Chief Executive of HelpAge International

Dr Dave Smith takes helm as UK’s National Technology Adviser

Now Teach appoints new CEO

A Healthy Perspective Podcast – David Hare MBE, CEO of Independent Healthcare Providers Network

Dr Paul Thompson appointed as British Council Chair

Appointment of new CEO for GLF Schools

Bas Javid appointed new Director General of Immigration Enforcement

New CEO appointed for the UK’s national synchrotron, Diamond Light Source

University of Nottingham appoints new Pro-Vice-Chancellor for its Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Béatrice Butsana-Sita appointed new CEO of the British Red Cross

Michael Plaut OBE announced as new Chair of Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama

Will Gompertz announced as the Soane’s new Director

Who’s Moving in Healthcare – June-July 2023

Dr Ghazwa Alwani-Starr appointed as new COO at University of Bath

PA Housing announces five new non-executive members to join board

Storyhouse appoints new CEO: Annabel Turpin