Defra names candidate for Environment Agency chair

The Environment Secretary has selected Alan Lovell as the Government’s preferred candidate for Chair of the Environment Agency, succeeding Emma Howard Boyd.

Alan Lovell is set to become Environment Agency chair

According to a statement from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the current Interserve chair was selected following a “rigorous” process conducted in accordance with the ministerial governance code on public appointments.

If approved, Mr Lovell, 68, will take over the role in September 2022, when Ms Howard Boyd’s term comes to an end.

Alan Lovell, the Government’s preferred Environment Agency chair

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee and the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) is to hold a joint pre-appointment hearing on Tuesday 5 July and report on Mr Lovell’s suitability for the post.


The department said that pre-appointment scrutiny is an important part of the appointment process to verify that the recruitment meets the principles set out in the governance code on public appointments.

Pre-appointment hearings, which are held in public, allow a select committee to take evidence from a Minister’s preferred candidate before they are appointed, it continued.

A report is to be published by the EFRA and EAC Select Committees, setting out their views on the candidate’s suitability for the post. This is to be considered by Ministers before deciding whether to proceed with the appointment.

Subject to the report and the final decision by the Environment Secretary Rt Hon George Eustice, Mr Lovell is to take up the post in September 2022. Emma Howard Boyd CBE’s second term as Environment Agency chair will end in September 2022.


Alan Lovell is currently chairman of the Interserve Group Ltd, senior independent director of SIG plc and chair of Safestyle UK plc.

His executive career included time as a chief executive of six companies, including Infinis, Jarvis, Costain and Dunlop Slazenger.

He was also chair of the Consumer Council for Water for four years and has chaired the University of Winchester and the Mary Rose Trust, Defra added.

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