Richard Deverell, Director at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Royal Holloway for his outstanding achievements in improving public engagement and education.
Richard had a career in management consultancy before joining the BBC in 1992, where he stayed for 20 years.
He worked across the corporation, in BBC News during its early move into online activity, and as Head of BBC Children’s, overseeing the CBBC and CBeebies services.
He later became Chief Operating Officer for BBC Salford Quays and programme director for the BBC’s W12 project.
After two decades with the BBC, Richard felt it was time for a change. After an interim role as Deputy Director of Ofcom's Strategy and Economic Department, he became the 17th Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in September 2012 – and the first person to hold the position who was not a professional botanist.
Richard had been a Trustee at Kew for six years and understood the problems and challenges it was encountering as it sought to define its role in the 21st century in the face of climate change, a rising global population, biodiversity loss and land use change.
Since joining Kew, Richard has refreshed the organisation’s strategy, bringing expertise from Kew’s global science into sharper focus and more actively engaging the public with contemporary science and conservation in Kew’s historic gardens.
In 2022, Richard was special guest speaker at the launch of Royal Holloway’s new Department of Health Studies.
Richard is also an official Champion for Food Forever, a global initiative that aims to secure biodiversity for the benefit of food security around the world.
Richard Deverell said: “All my life I have been fascinated by science, and particularly intrigued by the endless beauty and complexity of the natural world.
“More recently, I have started to better understand the extraordinary potential of science to solve some of humanity's biggest problems, including the urgent global challenges of rapid biodiversity loss and the climate crisis.
“This is why I am so proud and delighted to receive this Honorary Doctorate of Science from Royal Holloway and I am extremely grateful they have recognised myself, and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in this way.”