Our Commissioners are appointed for a term of four years with the option of being extended for a further four years. Learn more about CWGC's Commissioners.
Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP
Gavin Williamson became Chairman of the Commission on 2 November 2017 upon appointment as the Secretary of State for Defence. Gavin has been MP for South Staffordshire since 2010. Previously, he was appointed Chief Whip (Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury) in July 2016. He was Parliamentary Private Secretary to David Cameron as well as formerly Private Secretary in the Department of Transport and the Northern Ireland Office. He has also been Chairman of the All Party Group on Motor Neurone Disease.
SIR TIM LAURENCE KCVO CB ADC(P)
Sir Tim Laurence joined the Commission in 2011 and took over as Vice Chairman on 1 July 2016. A former Royal Navy officer, his 37-year career included four warship commands and a series of MOD appointments. His final role in the MOD was looking after the Department’s land and buildings as Chief Executive, Defence Estates. He is Chairman of the English Heritage Trust, the Major Projects Association and two Urban Regeneration companies. His other charity trusteeships include Royal National Lifeboat Institution and HMS Victory.
His Excellency the Hon Alexander Downer AC
HE Alexander Downer joined the Commission in 2014 on appointment as the High Commissioner for Australia. He was formerly the United Nations Special Adviser to the Secretary General on Cyprus. He was elected MP for Mayo in South Australia in 1984, later becoming the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs. Prior to his career in politics, he was a director of Bespoke Approach Consultancy and a visiting professor for the School of History and Politics at the University of Adelaide.
His Excellency Mr Obed Mlaba
HE Obed Mlaba joined the Commission in 2014 on appointment as the High Commissioner for the Republic of South Africa, having been formerly the Mayor of Durban for 15 years. During his extensive term of office in local government, he was also Chairman of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Local Government Association as well as the South African Local Government Association. He is also the Founder and a Trustee of the Obed Mlaba Foundation Trust.
Her Excellency Mme Janice Charette
HE Janice Charette joined the Commission in September 2016 on appointment as High Commissioner for Canada. She was formerly Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Canadian Cabinet. In a career that has spanned eight ministries, Ms Charette held senior executive positions across files that included skills development, labour markets, immigration, citizenship, employment insurance, health and justice. Ms Charette is a member of the Board of Directors of the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group and is a champion for mental health and wellness in the workplace.
His Excellency Mr Y K Sinha
HE Yashvardhan Sinha is a career diplomat with more than 35 years’ experience. Most recently, he was India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. Prior to this, he held several important assignments in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as Indian diplomatic missions in South Asia, the Middle East, Europe, South America and the United Nations in New York. He holds a diploma in Arabic from the American University, Cairo.
His Excellency the Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, GNZM, QSO, KStJ
HE Sir Jerry Mateparae joined the Commission in 2017 on his appointment as High Commissioner for New Zealand. Prior to this, his public service career culminated as the 20th Governor General of New Zealand. Formerly he was Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau following an extensive career in the armed forces, during which he became Chief of Army in 2002 and subsequently Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force in 2006 before retiring in 2011.
Professor Sir Hew Strachan PhD FRSE
Sir Hew Strachan joined the Commission in March 2006 and serves on the Remuneration Committee and the 14-18 Committee. He is currently Professor of International Relations at the University of St Andrews having been appointed in 2015 and is also Emeritus Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. Formerly, he was Chichele Professor of the History of War at the University of Oxford. He is a Trustee of the Imperial War Museum and a prodigious author of books on military history.
The Rt Hon Keith Simpson MP
Keith Simpson joined the Commission in 2008. Elected an MP in 1997, he is currently a Privy Councillor and Member of the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee. He was a former Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary and opposition spokesman on foreign affairs, agriculture and defence. Prior to this, he was Director of Cranfield Security Studies Institute and Senior Lecturer in War Studies and International Affairs at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.
Mr Kevan Jones MP
Kevan Jones joined the Commission in 2010 and is Chairman of the Remuneration Committee. He was elected MP for North Durham in 2001. Formerly Shadow Minister for the Armed Forces, he has also been Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Veterans, as well as a number of other parliamentary appointments with an emphasis on defence matters. He is currently Chairman of the All-Party Groups on Cardiac Risk in the Young and Coeliac Disease.MP
Mr Edward Chaplin CMG OBE
Edward Chaplin joined the Commission in 2011 and is a member of the Audit and Remuneration Committees. He is a former diplomat whose posts included Ambassador to Jordan, Iraq, and Italy and Director Middle East and North Africa at the Foreign Office. His other current commitments are Secretary to the Prime Minister for senior church appointments, Senior Advisor to the Good Governance Group, Trustee of the Mowgli Foundation, Governor of Wellington College School and Council Member at the British Institute for the Study of Iraq.
The Hon Mrs Ros Kelly AO
Ros Kelly joined the Commission in 2012 and is a member of the Finance Committee. She has worked across politics, private and not-for-profit sectors. A former Minister in the Australian Government, she served in a number of portfolios including Environment, Defence, Science and Personnel. After leaving politics, she worked with the environmental company ERM. Ros was formerly Chair of the Australian National Breast Cancer Foundation and a Director of Thiess Pty Ltd. She currently serves as an advisor to Women on Boards UK.
Mr Robert Fox MBE
Robert Fox joined the Commission in 2012. He is a career journalist having previously worked for the BBC from 1968 to 1987 and the Daily Telegraph from 1987. He has been the Defence Editor for the Evening Standard since 2013. He has reported on major conflicts from the Falklands, Balkans, Afghanistan, Gulf War and Northern Ireland. He is an Honorary Fellow for the Strategic Studies Institute, Exeter University, and a Senior Associate Fellow at the Centre for Defence Studies, King’s College London.
Lt Gen Sir Bill Rollo KCB CBE
Sir Bill joined the Commission in 2013 and is currently Chairman of the Centenary, Audit and Finance Committees and a member of the 14-18 and Charity sub-committees. A former career Army officer, his senior appointments included Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Personnel & Training) and Adjutant General, following a series of operational commands in the Balkans and Iraq. He is currently a Director of The Military Mutual and a Governor and Trustee of King Edward VII’s Hospital (Sister Agnes).
Air Marshal David Walker CB CBE AFC
David Walker joined the Commission in 2016. A former RAF Officer, his 34-year career included serving as a Harrier pilot in Germany, the Balkans and Belize as well as a tour as an F18 Hornet pilot with the US Navy. His senior appointments included NATO Joint Force Deputy Commander, Allied Air Component Deputy Commander and Air Officer Commanding No 1 Group, prior to retiring in 2013. He became National President of the Royal British Legion in 2015.