New dawn for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park as leadership team is revealed

Picture of the three new directors

The Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority is entering an exciting new phase as it announces a brand-new leadership team, comprising some of the UK’s top talent.

Catherine Mealing-Jones joined as Chief Executive last year. Previously a Director for both the UK Space Agency and the Home Office, Catherine brings a wealth of experience with her and is taking bold new strides for the Park. To help deliver her vision of a vibrant and sustainable future for the National Park, she has recruited a new leadership team.

Three new roles will join the executive team:

Rotimi Akinsiku has been appointed as Programme and Portfolio Manager. He joins the Park from the Defence Infrastructure Organisation where he is a Programme Manager.  Rotimi said, ‘I am excited to be joining the National Park and am looking forward to meeting everyone. In my experience, collaboration and building strong relationships are the key ingredients to delivering successful outcomes. Nature is close to my heart, and I cannot wait to get started.’

Gareth Jones has been appointed as the Director of Planning and Place. He joins the Park from Powys County Council, where he was the Professional Lead on Regeneration.  Gareth said, “I’m delighted to have been offered this post and I’m looking forward to taking on the new role. The past 18 months have put a spotlight on the vital role of the National Park and I look forward to playing a part in enabling it to fulfil its purpose and potential.

‘I hope to bring experience and ambition to help deliver the best outcomes and opportunities for its landscape and communities. Working in Powys, I’m well aware of the dedicated team and the good practice already in place in the authority.  I intend to work collaboratively across the organisation and with stakeholders to continue to build upon these excellent foundations and help support the future vision for the Park.’

Simone Lowthe-Thomas has been appointed as Director of Nature Recovery and Climate Change. She joins the park from the Severn Wye Energy Agency where she was Chief Executive. Simone said,  ‘The Bannau Brycheiniog is a unique and special place for me. It is where I live and where I feel a sense of belonging. I have spent my life both personally and professionally working to protect and enhance our natural environment but also working with communities to develop sustainable solutions to development and wellbeing. So, this role really jumped out at me as an amazing opportunity to use my skills for a cause that I am passionate about. I am really excited to be joining the team and delivering our shared purpose, together.”

All three bring a strong track record of experience that will help deliver Future Beacons, the National Park’s management plan for the next 20 years.

Catherine added, ‘Appointing candidates to these roles is a vital part of the process of providing the leadership capacity and skills required to drive forward implementation of Future Beacons in 2022 and beyond. I’m delighted with the appointed team and feel energised and excited about working with them to deliver for people and planet.’