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Trustees

Oliver Smith

Oliver Smith is the Founder Director of the Common Cause Foundation since Oct 2014. He has worked in the NGO sector for the last twenty years. He was the founder of the Sustainable Consumption team in WWF, and was the Chair of one of the WWF Network’s 12 Global Initiatives – China SHIFT, based in Beijing.
He was also a Trustee of ARC (the Alliance of Religions and Conservation) from 2006-14.
He has extensive experience in NGO start-ups and spinning off programmes as independent organisations, having been Director of Transformations at WWF-UK from 2012 to 2014, responsible for the setting up of new organisations including the Finance Innovation Lab and Common Cause.

Nigel Haigh, OBE

Nigel Haigh helped to found the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and was formerly its Vice President. He opened the London office of the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) and was its director until his retirement.
He was a founder of the Green Alliance, and later its Chairman.
He served on the Board of the Environment Agency and was appointed by the European Parliament to the Management Board of the European Environment Agency (EEA). He was Specialist Adviser to the House of Lord’s EU Scrutiny Committee for their report on the White Paper that lead to the major reform of EU chemicals legislation known as REACH.

Leslie Jones, OBE

Leslie Jones  is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance, a Fellow of the Institute of Certified Accountants and a Member of the Institute of Water and Environment Managers.
He had a long career in the water industry, including the National Rivers Authority before joining WWF-UK as Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Finance.
He now provides consultancy to many charities and is Honorary Treasurer to several, including the Thames River Trust and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. He is also on the Board of the North and West Reading Clinical Commissioning Group.

Deborah Tripley

Deborah Tripley is Senior Legal Adviser to global programmes at WWF-UK and Founding Director of Planetary Boundaries Initiative (a not for profit think- and- do tank to enforce governance for environmental limits).
She is an experienced litigator, having qualified both as a solicitor and a barrister. Previous positions: Public interest environmental lawyer; Chief Executive for Environmental Law Foundation, environmental and public law Counsel, Head of Legal at Greenpeace UK.
She has considerable expertise in environmental and public and human rights law leading to test cases on the UK Government’s failure to apply EU conservation law and major planning requirements.

She has also advised NGOs on the implementation of new laws such as the Marine Act and the Localism Act. She is a Trustee of Greenpeace Environmental Trust.

Sarah Oppenheimer

Sarah Oppenheimer has worked in the environmental NGO sector for over 15 years, including at Friends of the Earth and the RSPB. She led the EU Policy Campaigns Team for RSPB, where she worked across a wide spectrum of policy areas and  developed a good knowledge of european environmental policy making. Now a freelance consultant, Sarah is also the Chair of Trustees for the Orp Foundation and a member of the Environment Funders Network.
Sarah is a mother of three and Chair of Governors at her local state primary school.

Harriet Gillett

Harriet Gillett has worked in the environmental IGO/UN sector for many years. Her work mostly involved science-into-policy work, providing information services to biodiversity-related Conventions, particularly the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Subsequently she worked in the grant making sector, as grant manager for a major UK based charity funding environmental and other issues. Most recently she has worked for the International Whaling Commission as Head Rapporteur.

Harriet was a trustee of the Polden-Puckham Charitable Foundation for over 30 years, and was Chair of the Steering Committee of the Environmental Funders Network for two years.

Colin Church

Colin is the Chief Executive of CIWM, the resource & waste management professional body. Previously, Colin spent 21 years in the UK Civil Service in a range of roles, including leading negotiation of the EU chemicals regime REACH up to its substantive agreement in the UK Presidency in 2005. He also led the EU that year in international negotiations at the Stockholm and Rotterdam Convention Conferences of the Parties and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) preparatory discussions.

He has spent time in the Secretariat of the EU Council of Ministers in Brussels, the UK Cabinet Office and on a range of economic and environmental policy areas.

Former Trustees

Martyn Day

Martyn Day is a former Chair of Trustees and as a Trustee of CHEM Trust. We are extremely grateful for his five years of leadership. Martyn Day is the Senior Partner at Leigh Day & Co so­licitors in London, and specialises in international, environment and product liability claims. Examples of his work are the Sellafield leukaemia cases, asbestos cases and negotiating claims for 52 Colombian farmers in a claim against BP relating to the damage caused by an oil pipeline.
He is an Executive Committee Member of the Society of Labour Lawyers, a Director of Greenpeace Environmental Trust (he stood down in 2006 from being the Chair of Greenpeace UK, after ten years on its Board) and a member of the Association of Professional Injury Lawyers. He is also a member of the Advisory Group of the Independent Lawyer, and the Amnesty International Business Group.
In addition, Martyn is co-author of ‘Toxic Torts’, ‘Personal Injury Handbook’, ‘Multi-Party Actions’ and ‘Environmental Action: A Citizens Guide’, and also regularly addresses lectures, seminars and the media on environmental issues.