Incoming Environment Programme Director
Rachel has over 20 years of experience working in Science Policy. A New Zealander by birth, Rachel has a BSc in Psychology and Zoology, and a Master’s of Science in Ecology from Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand. In the early years of her career, Rachel worked for the NZ Government in environmental policy development, strategy and implementation with three years focused on biosecurity policy and the protection of NZ’s precious native species from threats such as chytrid fungus, varroa bee mite and the red imported fire ant.
Since moving to the UK in 2003, her emphasis has been on providing evidence-based policy advice to government and international policy makers on issues as diverse as geo-engineering, ground-level ozone, biodiversity and climate change adaptation and mitigation, ocean acidification, demographic change and sustainable consumption and production. Initially specialising in European and International Biodiversity and Sustainable Development Policy, she then moved to the UK Royal Society where she led their environment and climate change science policy work for 7 years. Here she worked closely with other Learned Societies, world-leading scientists, EASAC, the IAP and UK government officials to ensure the best scientific advice was accessible to national and international decision-makers on critical environmental issues. After leaving the Royal Society, Rachel moved into the international development charity sector to focus on improving integration between environment, climate change and poverty-reduction policies with most of her time spent on the 2015 Paris climate agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. Since leaving the development sector, Rachel has taken a career break to care for her family before returning to work as a consultant for the Solar Radiation Management Government Initiative, and joining EASAC in 2021.