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Our Commissioners

Our Commissioners are appointed for a term of four years with the option of being extended for a further four years.

PRESIDENT
HRH THE DUKE OF KENT
KG GCMG GCVO ADC (P)

His Royal Highness The Duke Of Kent was appointed
President of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
on 27 February 1970.


CHAIRMAN
THE RT HON BEN WALLACE MP

Ben Wallace is a former officer in the Scots Guards. He first entered politics as a Member of the Scottish Parliament in 1999. Following a move to Lancashire, he was elected to the UK House of Parliament in 2005. In 2010 he was elected as MP for Wyre and Preston North. He has held a number of posts both in opposition and government, including Shadow Minister for Scotland; Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office and Minister of State for Security at the Home Office.


VICE CHAIRMAN
LT GEN SIR BILL ROLLO KCB CBE

Sir Bill joined the Commission in 2013 and became Vice Chairman in July 2019. 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 has previously held a range of charitable and non charitable posts, most recently as a Trustee of KEVII Hospital and a non Executive Director of The Military Mutual.


COMMISSIONER
His Excellency The Honourable Ralph E. Goodale, PC

HE Mr. Ralph Goodale joined the Commission in April 2021 on appointment as High Commissioner for Canada. Mr. Goodale was first elected to the Parliament of Canada in 1974 at the age of 24. In the 1980s he served as leader of the Saskatchewan Liberal Party and returned to the House of Commons in 1993 representing the constituency of Regina until 2019. A member of the federal Cabinet under three Prime Ministers, he was appointed Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Minister of Natural Resources, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Minister of Finance, and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. Mr. Goodale became a special advisor to the Prime Minister for Canada’s response to Iran’s shooting down of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752.


COMMISSIONER
HER EXCELLENCY LYNETTE WOOD

Lynette Wood commenced her role as Acting High Commissioner to the United Kingdom in May 2022. Prior to this, she was the First Assistant Secretary, Europe and Latin America Division, First Assistant Secretary, Consular and Crisis Response Division and Australia’s Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany. Earlier as First Assistant Secretary, International Division at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, she was responsible for advising the Prime Minister on Australia’s foreign, trade, strategic and international policy. She has been posted to Germany (Bonn) and Canada (Ottawa), and has held roles as Assistant Secretary, Middle East Branch, and Director, ASEAN. Before joining the Australian Government, she worked for the Japanese Government, including in the Ministry of Home Affairs in Tokyo.


COMMISSIONER
HIS EXCELLENCY JEREMIAH NYAMANE MAMABOLO

HE Jeremiah Nyamane Mamabolo joined the Commission on appointment as High Commissioner for the Republic of South Africa to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. He was formerly Joint Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations and Chairperson of the African Union. Prior to this he had been the Permanent Representative of the Republic of South Africa to the United Nations (New York) and High Commissioner to the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He has a Master's Degree in Public Administration and is fluent in English; Zulu; Xhosa; Sesotho; Setswana and Afrikaans with a working knowledge of Spanish and Ki-Swahili.


COMMISSIONER
HER EXCELLENCY SHANNON AUSTIN

Acting High Commissioner for New Zealand Shannon Austin joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) in 2007 as a Legal Adviser in the Trade Law Unit working primarily on Free Trade Agreements. Postings include the New Zealand High Commission in Kuala Lumpur and Deputy Head of Mission, Bangkok. Returning to the Consular Division, Wellington in July 2017, a later move to Unit Manager, Europe Division was followed in early 2020 supporting New Zealand’s COVID-19 response. In November 2020, she moved to the United Kingdom as Deputy Head of Mission. Prior to joining MFAT Shannon worked as a solicitor in the private sector in Wellington and London and the government department Land Information New Zealand (LINZ). She holds a Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours) and Bachelor of Laws from Otago University.


COMMISSIONER
His Excellency Vikram K. Doraiswami

HE Vikram K. Doraiswami has a Maters' Degree in History from the University of Delhi and joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1992 as a journalist. He was posted to the Indian High Commission, Hong Kong in 1994 and later the Indian Embassy, Beijing in 1996. Returning to New Delhi in 2000, he ultimately served as Private Secretary to the Prime Minister of India. Moving to the U.N. New York in 2006, he then became India's Consul General, South Africa in 2009. Following a move to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) between 2011 and 2014, he was appointed as Ambassadors to Uzbekistan (2014) and the Republic of Korea (2015). Returning to MEA work in 2018 he was later appointed as Indian HC to Bangladesh (2020) and HC to the UK in September 2022.


COMMISSIONER
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 a F/A-18 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.


COMMISSIONER
DAME JUDITH MAYHEW JONAS DBE

Judith Mayhew Jonas graduated, then lectured at the University of Otago New Zealand. Moving to the UK, she lectured in law at King's College, University of London, set up the Anglo French Law Degree (Sorbonne) and in 1986 was elected to the City of London Corporation. In 1989 she became Special Adviser to the Chairman at Clifford Chance and Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee in 1996. She has served on educational and cultural boards at Birkbeck College, Imperial College London, Gresham College, the Natural History and Imperial War Museums. She was Provost of King’s College Cambridge 2003-06, Chairman of The Royal Opera House 2003-08 and 2008-11, The New West End Company and the Independent Schools Council, Chancellor of Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln and is Chair of the trustees of the CWGC.


COMMISSIONER
VASUKI SHASTRY

Vasuki Shastry was a well-known journalist, covering business and politics in India, Singapore, and Indonesia. His last assignment was in Jakarta in 1998, where he covered the Asian financial crisis and the fall of President Suharto. Shastry moved to the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C., serving in various frontline crisis communications and public outreach roles as Asia Pacific spokesperson, head of internal communications and head of public affairs. On leave of absence from the IMF, Shastry had a stint with the Singapore government, as Director of Communications of the central bank. Recently, Shastry has been based in London working for Standard Chartered Bank as Group Head of Public Affairs and latterly Global Head of Public Affairs & Sustainability. Shastry is the author of “Resurgent Indonesia: From Crisis to Confidence”, published in 2018.


COMMISSIONER
DAME DIANA JOHNSON, MP DBE

Diana Johnson was called to the Bar in 1991. She served as a local councillor, a Non-Executive Director in the NHS and was elected to Parliament for the constituency of Kingston upon Hull North in May 2005 - Hull’s first female MP. Diana was a Government Whip and a Minister in the Department of Children, Schools and Families. Her Front Bench roles since 2010 include Shadow Home Office Minister and Shadow Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister and since 2017 Diana has been a Member of the House of Commons Health and Social Care Select Committee. As co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood, she campaigned for the independent public inquiry into the NHS Contaminated Blood scandal, announced in July 2017. Diana was named “Backbencher of the Year” in 2018 for her campaigning work.


COMMISSIONER
RT HON PHILIP DUNNE MP

Philip was first elected Member of Parliament for the Ludlow Constituency in May 2005. He was appointed Assistant Whip in 2008 in opposition and in 2010 in the coalition government. He was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Ministry of Defence in September 2012, and, following the General Election in May 2015, was promoted to Minister of State for Defence Procurement at the Ministry of Defence. Under Prime Minister Theresa May, Philip was appointed Minister of State for Health at the Department of Health in July 2016, and reappointed following the General Election on in June 2017 until January 2018. In February 2019, Philip joined Her Majesty’s Privy Council.


COMMISSIONER
VICE ADMIRAL PETER HUDSON CB CBE

Peter Hudson joined the commission in July 2019. A former Vice Admiral in the Royal Navy; he held numerous commands during his 36 year career including three warships, the UK’s amphibious forces and multinational coalition operations in the Gulf. As a Flag Officer, his senior appointments included leading EU operations undertaking counter piracy operations off Somalia and serving as NATO’s senior maritime commander for alliance wide maritime operations during which he was also a member of the UK Navy Board. Currently he sits on the BAE Systems Maritime and Land Board where he is the company’s Naval Advisor. He is National President of the Combined Cadet Force and is a Trustee of the Mary Rose museum in Portsmouth.


COMMISSIONER
SIR TIM HITCHENS, KCVO, CMG

Sir Tim joined the Commission in 2019. He is a former British diplomat and a former Assistant Private Secretary to the Queen. His diplomatic posts included ambassadorial roles in France and Japan, Director Africa, and Director of European Political Affairs. Sir Tim was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in 2012, and a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 2018. He was appointed CEO of the Commonwealth Summit 2018, and is currently serving as President of Wolfson College, Oxford.


COMMISSIONER
KERYN JAMES

Keryn joined the Commission in 2020 and is currently the Group Chief Executive of ERM, the largest pure-play sustainability consulting firm in the world. She has over 25 years’ experience in sustainability and Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) consulting across the oil and gas, mining, chemicals, infrastructure and power sectors around the globe. Keryn is also Co-Chair of the Executive Committee for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and co-chairs the Climate & Energy Board of the WBCSD. She was a WBCSD Leading Women Award Excellence winner in 2018. Keryn was recently recognized as one of the 2021 ‘CEO’s Who Get It’ by the United States National Safety Council (NSC). She has previously supported the International Association for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts on their fundraising Board.