Defra minister Andrea Leadsom has appointed former NFU director-general Richard Macdonald as deputy chairman of the Environment Agency (EA). Mr Macdonald’s new role will last until the end of his term as a member of the EA board in May 2020.  

Mr Macdonald has been a member of the EA board since June 2013, and serves on the audit and risk assurance, remuneration, and flood and coastal risk management committees. He is also the lead board member for land agriculture and is area board member for the West Midlands. He has a strong farming background leading the NFU from 1996 to 2009 and chairing the Defra Better Regulation Task Force. 

At present, Mr Macdonald is chairman of Farm Africa, a trustee of the Earth Trust and is chairman of the Food Standards Agency’s action on campylobacter board. He is also a non-executive director at Dairy Crest and Moy Park and is vice chairman of the National Institute for Agricultural Botany.