Our Board of Trustees meet quarterly to help shape our work. They have a wealth of experience from different industries to help us shape our work caring for rivers and helping communities become involved to understand the challenges they face and learn how to look after them.
Katherine Riggs (Acting Chair)
Katherine Riggs has been the Chief Executive of the Thames Skills Academy since February 2018. Prior to taking over the role, Katherine was the Director of Thames Vision at the Port of London Authority, leading from inception to delivery, a 20-year plan for the development of the UK’s most famous and busiest river, the first of its kind. Earlier in her career, Katherine worked in the UK civil service for twenty years. Most recently, she was head of strategy to the Secretary of State leading the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affair’s growth and biosecurity programmes as well as preparations for the 2015 general election. Previous roles included leadership of Government’s most complex UK/EU environmental programme and she spent four years at the UK Representation to the European Union in Brussels, negotiating the accession of ten countries into the EU and representing the UK’s interests in common agricultural reform and WTO negotiations.
Katherine is Vice Chair of the Maritime Skills Alliance and a Trustee of Thames 21.
Dr Michelle Yaa Asantewa
Michelle is a writer and cultural educational consultant. She is the co-founder of Way Wive Wordz Publishing, Editing and Tuition Services, which specialises in creative expression and personal development. She has authored several books and recently edited the anthology, In Search Of Mami Wata, featuring African water spirits, highlighting her environmental interests. Dr Asantewa delivers courses and workshops in creative writing, literature, African History and culture.
Martin oversaw the development of the £4.2billion Thames Tideway Tunnel while he was CEO of Thames Water (2009-2016). Previously he was an executive director at Macquarie, responsible for utility investments across Europe. His long track record in the water industry has encompassed senior roles at South East Water and Southern Water. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Water Conservators. Joined the board in June 2017.
Howard has 40 years’ experience in the field of environmental management. He recently retired from the Environment Agency where he was Director of Operations. This role covered the management of the rivers in South East England. He has been a trustee since 2010.
Charles is a senior asset manager of The Crown Estate in the offshore wind section. He brings a wealth of experience through his background of 20 years in the agricultural, marine and renewable energy sector. As a qualified chartered surveyor, his core skills are in property and natural resources. Charles is passionate about helping the charity expand its position more permanently in East London and increasing diversity in the charity and among its volunteers.
As Thames Estuary 2100 Manager, Laura leads the delivery of the adaptive strategy for managing rising sea levels and enabling resilient, green growth in London and the estuary. Leading the team behind the Thames Estuary 2100 Plan, she is seeking to work collaboratively to deliver social value, whilst bringing sustainability and climate action to the heart of collective ambitions for the Thames. With a specialism in community and stakeholder engagement, Laura has worked on various high profile flood risk management and climate adaptation schemes in the Thames catchment. Laura is passionate about inclusive co-design and bringing local voices into decision making, to ensure major infrastructure programmes represent the needs of the diverse communities they serve.
Until recently Louise led the Environment (International) practice at the global law firm Hogan Lovells. She is widely recognised as a leading lawyer on environmental, social, and health and safety issues.
Originally from Sweden, Henrika has lived in the UK since 1988 and in the City since 1997 where she’s represented the Ward of Castle Baynard since 2009. She’s spent over 20 years in the City working in the financial services sector before moving from her last position with the New York Stock Exchange to her current role as Event Marketing Campaign Manager with Jones Lang LaSalle, a property advisory firm. Living in the ward she represents, Henrika has always taken a close interest in the local neighbourhood and the issues affecting her constituents. In particular, she’s represented Ward residents’ views on numerous licensing and planning applications, worked on issues such litter and waste, as well as homelessness specific to the Ward but also to the City as a whole. She’s always taken a keen interest in the environment and has served on the Port Health & Environmental Services Committee for more than ten years. Henrika became a Trustee of Thames21 in October 2023.
Grace Rawnsley joined the PLA in February 2023 as the Director of Sustainability and Net Zero Transition. Her responsibilities include the PLA’s internal sustainability work on net zero and climate adaptation as well as externally focused work on water quality, air quality, biodiversity, decarbonisation and climate adaptation.
Grace is a sustainability professional who has a wide range of experiences across the environmental sector over the last 20 years. Prior to joining the PLA, Grace spent 13 years at the City of London Corporation in a variety of sustainability and transformation roles. She developed the City’s first Responsible Business Strategy as well as leading the organisation’s approach to community engagement on environmental issues. More recently, she led the implementation of the City of London Corporation’s climate action work as their Climate Action Programme Director. Prior to the City of London Corporation, Grace worked for a variety of well-known conservation charities including the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.
Fabian became a trustee in 2022 and is a management consultant in the Utilities & Environment sector at Sia Partners. He has particular focus on social impact, having supported numerous utilities and charities to define the social and environmental benefits of their projects. As a keen wild swimmer, Fabian is passionate about keeping England’s waters safe and clean.
Charlie is the Environment Agency’s London Area Director. Her teams work closely with key organisations to engage early and work in partnership, to ensure that London continues to be a world class city with a high-quality environment for all. Charlie joined the Environment Agency as a graduate from Kings College London and has since undertaken a diverse range of roles and built up a rich knowledge of many of the sectors covered by the Environment Agency. This includes work on incident management and resilience, water quality regulation, flood risk including the 2007 flooding incident and subsequent Pitt Review, and work with the Thames Estuary 2100 Plan, Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, local authorities, the Greater London Authority (GLA) and Transport for London (TfL).
Darren became a trustee in 2020 and is associate director for ESG (Major Projects Advisory) at KPMG UK. He has more than 20 years’ experience working in the environmental sustainability management and corporate social responsibility space within the infrastructure sector. He has worked on a range of projects, including Thames Tideway Tunnel, London 2012 Olympic Park and Village, HS2, Channel Tunnel Rail Link and restoration initiatives such as St Pancras International Station and St Martins in the Field.