Clare Matterson CBE will be the next Director General of the RHS, the UK’s largest
gardening charity. Clare, currently Executive Director, Engagement at the Natural
History Museum (NHM), will join the RHS on Monday 9 May 2022.

In her current role at NHM, Clare led the development of the new strategy to create
‘advocates for the planet’ and drove forward initiatives including the Urban Nature
Project, ‘Our Broken Planet’ and Dippy on Tour. She also led the transformation of its
digital activities, which has resulted in a large increase across all online platforms now
reaching over 15 million people globally.

A significant part of Clare’s career has been at Wellcome Trust, where as Director of
Strategy she produced the charitable foundation’s 2015 strategy that set its first
priorities in mental health, planetary health, and antibiotic resistance. Here she also
co-founded Wellcome Collection as a major new art and science cultural venue in
London, established the National STEM Learning Centre to transform UK science
education, and initiated The Great Plant Hunt to mark the 200th anniversary of Charles
Darwin’s birth.

A keen gardener and member of the RHS for nearly 30 years, Clare believes
gardening has the power to foster an important connection to the natural world, giving
everyone the chance to learn from nature whether from their own plot, a community
garden or a simple window box. A firm believer that the ‘H’ for horticultural in the RHS
is core to the charity, she recognises how the joy of growing plants and gardening can
have a positive impact on people and society.

Keith Weed CBE, President of the RHS, said: “We are very excited about the
appointment of Clare as the next DG of the RHS.

“The RHS has been leading the way championing the difference we can all make
through gardens and growing plants to create positive change, mitigate against the
climate and biodiversity crises and help our health and wellbeing – these are
topics that Clare is also passionate about and throughout her career she has believed
in connecting people with nature. We have 200 years of gardening knowledge at the
RHS and more than anything we love sharing everything we’ve learnt to help people
garden and enjoy gardens.

“With Clare’s vision, leadership and creativity, I’m looking forward to everyone at the
RHS working together to make the charity an even bigger force for good in gardening
and helping the planet through people and plants.”

Clare, who was awarded her CBE for services to public engagement in science,
said: “It is both an honour and a joy to be the next DG of the RHS.

“The RHS is an organisation that matters and can make a real difference to the
world. Gardens have such a huge role to play to shape a more positive future. It is
in our gardens that we find answers for people and planet, for community, for inclusion
and for wellbeing.

“I’m delighted to be the person who will lead the RHS to show how through our gardens
and plants, however big or small, urban or rural, we can all have a direct experience
and connection with nature.

“I can’t wait to start and meet everyone who works at, volunteers for and is involved
with this extraordinary charity and the wider horticultural world.”

Clare will begin with the RHS on 9 May for a period of transition with the current
Director General, Sue Biggs, before taking over as Director General on Tuesday 14
June at the RHS Annual General Meeting. The RHS thanks Sue for all she has done
for the charity over her 11 years as DG.

Keith finishes: “Clare arrives at an exciting time at the RHS with last year’s recent
openings of our fifth new garden, RHS Bridgewater, and RHS Hilltop – the home of
gardening science at Wisley. Gardening is booming and our growing membership
reflects this, we have just passed 600,000 members, but there is still much more to