Chief Executive Officer Forestry Commission

Richard Stanford CB, MBE


Richard Stanford joined the Forestry Commission as Chief Executive in August 2021. Richard has a longstanding passion for the environment and the countryside. His leadership skills, ambition and expertise are forefront as he steers the organisation at this pivotal time for nature, people, the environment and the economy.

During a 35 year career in the British Army Richard served around the world in a range of roles. He commissioned into the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards in 1987, commanded the Battalion from 2006-08. He was promoted to Major General to command Regional Command, an organisation spanning UK, Germany, Nepal and Brunei and most recently was the Senior British Loan Service Officer to the Sultanate of Oman. Through these roles he has built up considerable experience in change management and organisational design, as well as in HR. He also headed up the largest UK volunteer uniformed youth organisation.

Richard joined the Army directly from school and through the Army gained an MA and MBA. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and Royal Geographical Society. He was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in October 1993 and was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath in the 2021 New Year Honours.

Richard’s leads all parts of the Forestry Commission, which is made up of Forestry England, Forest Services, the Commissioners’ Office and Forest Research.

Chief Executive Officer Forestry Commission

Forestry Commission