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Our Trustees

Our board of Trustees work together to set Tree Aid's strategic direction. They ensure we are true to our mission and values and check our progress against our strategy.

"Tree Aid has successfully worked in sub-Saharan Africa for three decades now, earning the respect of local people and aid agencies alike. As a professional forester, I know that if forests are protected, water and soils needed for agriculture will also thrive, helping communities become self-sufficient. Using trees to combat poverty seems such an obvious win-win to me."
Shireen Chambers MBE, Chair of Trustees

Elizabeth Davis, Chair

Elizabeth is an experienced senior leader in the public sector, with a particular interest in good governance, workforce and organisational design. As an HR practitioner, she has had roles in international development with both the UK government’s Department for International Development and the United Nations. Elizabeth was part of the senior team in Wales that brought together the Forestry Commission, Environment Agency and Countryside Council. In 2015, she was awarded an OBE for her contribution to public services in Wales.

Nick Pride

Nick is Director of Individual Giving and Loyalty at Marie Curie, which he joined in December 2019. He brings to the board a wide range of skills and experience of fundraising and direct marketing, which helps to challenge, benchmark and strengthen Tree Aid’s public fundraising. Nick has been a Tree Aid trustee since 2018. 

Hilary Allison

Hilary’s experience is in advocacy for forests and for nature both in the UK and internationally. As Director of Policy for the Woodland Trust she established the Trust’s approach to campaigning and lobbying for UK woodland from 1998 onwards. More recently she worked for UNEP-WCMC as Head of Ecosystem Assessment and Policy Support, focusing on the power of data, information, evidence and knowledge to underpin better biodiversity-related decision-making. She now work as a government appointed Forestry Commissioner for England and freelance  environmental consultant.  She became a Tree Aid Trustee in 2021.

Philip Songhurst-Thonet

Having grown up in Africa, Philip was struck by the value of trees to communities for energy, protection, construction and food. As a Management Consultant with Ernst & Young and more recently Director for Control Risks, Philip has worked with high profile organisations to improve risk and security management, financial measures, system controls and procedures. Philip is also a coach and mentor for UnLtd, a support network for social entrepreneurs, and he has advised start up charities on best practice management techniques. Philip has been a Tree Aid trustee since 2018. 

Alex Simuyandi

Alex has experience leading the operations of organisations in inclusive finance. He was Head of Operations at The Private Infrastructure Development Group, an infrastructure development and finance organisation that delivers pioneering infrastructure in the poorest and most fragile countries. Prior to that he was Group Operations Director at AgDevCo, an impact investor that focusses on inclusive African agriculture. He has worked for the UN, advancing inclusive agri-SME and smallholder finance, as well as in the private sector with global agricultural value chains. He is passionate about protecting and enhancing livelihoods whilst mitigating the effects of climate change. He became a Tree Aid Trustee in 2021.

Tristram Hilborn

Tristram is a Chartered Forester and is an environmentalist with more than 20 years’ experience in the land management sector. Tristram is the Chief Operating Officer for Forestry England, the largest landowner in England, with responsibility for the organisations operations. Tristram is also a Non-Executive Director for the Broads National Park. Tristram has an Masters of Business Administration from Bayes Business school and is committed to sustainable land management to deliver social, environmental and economic benefits. Tristram has served as a Trustee for Tree Aid since 2021.

Henry McLoughlin

Henry is a deep technology investor with a passion for climate policy and activism.

Over a decade as a climate investor, Henry has worked with some of the world’s most iconic clean technology companies and helped raise 2 billion dollars for climate solutions. He has led a number of transformative climate campaigns to establish Electric Vehicle mandates and incentives and to shut down coal plants.

Henry’s passion for the environment is rooted in his childhood summers spent in the French countryside and in the woodlands of Maine.

Henry holds degrees in history and business administration and is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. 

Roger Davies

Roger’s career has been predominantly working in the charitable sector, as Chief Executive and prior to that as Finance Director. For the ten years to 2014, he was Chief Executive of MHA, one of the UK’s largest charities and foremost providers in the sectors of care and housing for older people.

For the past ten years, he has been working for several organisations on a NED basis. Current positions include Chair of Rangeford Villages, a developer and operator of retirement villages, part of the Octopus Group, and a consultant to LMS Capital, an investment company listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Defrim Dedej

Defrim is a Grants and Innovate Finance specialist who has previously headed the global grants and innovative finance practice area at Chemonics UKD, and other consultancy firms.  He has designed and managed more than 100 grants and innovative finance programmes on behalf of FCDO, USAID, DFAT, EU, Trust/Foundations and Development Financial Institutions (DFIs).

He is a strong advocate of private sector development involvement in achieving SDGs and in particular tackling climate change, having championed the use of grants and other innovative finance instruments to offset risk and bring other investors and donors to the fore.