Our Commissioners are appointed for a term of four years with the option of being extended for a further four years.
HM THE King
His Majesty The King became
Patron of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
on 12 November 2023.
HRH THE Princess Royal
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal was appointed
President of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
on 12 November 2023.
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 and served for more than 50 years before retiring in 2023.
The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP
Grant Shapps automatically became Chairman of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission upon his appointment as Secretary of State for Defence in August 2023, taking over from our previous Chairman, The Rt. Hon. Ben Wallace MP who had held the role since 2019. Mr Shapps was elected as the MP for Welwyn Hatfield in 2005. He became Defence Secretary in August 2023 having previously been appointed to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s first Cabinet in October 2022 as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and then Secretary of State for Energy Security & Net Zero. Prior to this he held a number of Ministerial and Cabinet posts including Home Secretary, Secretary of State for Transport and International Development, Housing and Planning Minister, and Minister without Portfolio. He was also Chairman of the Conservative Party between 2012 and 2015. Before entering politics, he founded the commercial design, print & web development company PrintHouse Corporation.
VICE ADMIRAL PETER HUDSON CB CBE
Peter Hudson joined the Commission in July 2019 and became Vice Chairman in July 2023. 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. On leaving the Service he spent 7 years in the Defence Industry, most latterly with BAE Systems where he was 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.
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.
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.
His Excellency Vikram K. Doraiswami
HE Vikram K. Doraiswami has a Masters' 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 Ambassador 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.
HIS EXCELLENCY Phil Goff CNZM
Born and educated in Auckland, Phil graduated from the University of Auckland with a First Class honours degree in Political Studies followed by four years teaching at the University. In 1981 he won the Auckland seat of Roskill, becoming the youngest ever Cabinet Minister in 1984 and held many important portfolios over the next six years. In 1990 he returned to education as Senior Lecturer in Politics at Auckland University of Technology attending Nuffield College, Oxford on an FCO scholarship. He won the seat of Roskill again in 1993, serving until 2016 and was leader of the Labour Party (2008-2011). He was Mayor of Auckland (2016-2022) and has been awarded the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit and Order of Merit from Timor Leste. Phil was appointed as High Commissioner of New Zealand to the United Kingdom in January 2023.
His Excellency Prof The Hon Stephen Smith
Born in Narrogin, Western Australia and educated at the University of Western Australia and University of London. Stephen holds a Masters of Laws in Public International Law, London University, 1982, a Bachelor of Arts, 1979, and Bachelor of Laws, 1977, University of Western Australia. He entered politics in 1993, elected as parliamentary representative for Perth and was a member of the Australian Parliament for 20 years. He served as the Minister for Defence, and prior to that, as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Trade. He has also served as one of two Independent Leads of the Defence Strategic Review. He was appointed as the High Commissioner for Australia to the United Kingdom in January 2023.
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 CWGF.
Vasuki Shastry had a career in the public and private sector spanning three continents. He served in communications, public policy, and sustainability leadership roles at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Singapore central bank, and Standard Chartered Bank in London, where he was Global Head of Public Affairs and Sustainability until 2019. Shastry currently serves as an advisor on strategic communications, ESG, and geopolitical risk for several leading firms. Shastry was previously an Associate Asia Fellow at Chatham House, a Senior Fellow at the US Chamber of Commerce, and also served on the board of the UK-India Business Council and Asia House. His research interests include economic and financial integration in Asia, global governance, climate change, and the intersection between technology and democracy. He is the author of three books - Resurgent Indonesia (2018), Has Asia Lost it? (2021) and The Notorious ESG (2023) — and is a frequent contributor to Forbes Asia, Fortune, and Asia Global Online. Shastry started his career as a journalist and worked in India, Singapore, and Indonesia. He lives in Washington DC.
The Rt Hon 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.
The 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.
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 late Queen. His diplomatic posts include France, Pakistan, Director Africa and Director of European Political Affairs, and Ambassador to Tokyo. He was CEO of the Commonwealth Summit in London in 2018. Sir Tim is currently President of Wolfson College at Oxford University and Chairman of the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation. He was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in 2012 and Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 2018.
Keryn James is an experienced global executive and non-executive board member with expertise in sustainability, global operations, transformation and technology. Currently she is an Independent Board Manager for the not-for-profit Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), an independent non-executive Director on the Siemens A.G Supervisory Board, and she is the Chair of global recruitment firm, Opus Talent Solutions. Keryn had a successful 29 year career at the world’s leading global sustainability consultancy firm, ERM, including the role of Group CEO between 2017 and 2022. During her career at ERM Keryn held various leadership roles including Chief Operating Officer and Regional CEO for Asia Pacific. She worked extensively throughout Australia, Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas with a deep domain knowledge of sustainability and ESG across multiple sectors including energy, manufacturing, finance, technology, mining, power and chemicals. She has engaged in business sustainability leadership for many years in particular through her involvement in the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) where she served on the Executive Committee until March 2022. She is a regular speaker at key sustainability conferences and events.
LIEUTENANT GENERAL SIR BEN BATHURST KCVO, CBE
Lieutenant General Sir Ben Bathurst joined as the Army Commissioner in 2023. He is currently serving as UK’s Military Representative to NATO and the EU. Prior to that, he served as General Officer Commanding London District and Major General Commanding the Household Division. He has held operational commands in Afghanistan, Iraq and Northern Ireland (including command of 1st Battalion Welsh Guards in Maysan, Iraq) and has served in Bosnia, Belize and Germany. He has also been the Army’s Director of Training. On various tours in the Ministry of Defence, he ran Army Public Relations and before that, he was employed in Army capability and acquisition.
AIR MARSHAL Sir Stuart Atha KBE, CB, DSO
Sir Stuart Atha joined the Commission in 2023. A retired Air Marshal, his career spanned 35 years, during which he flew a number of aircraft including the Hawk, Harrier, Typhoon and Spitfire and Hurricane. He commanded at all levels, including as Station Commander at RAF Coningsby and Air Officer Commanding No 1 Group, during which he was responsible for the 2012 London Olympics Air Security Plan. His staff experience included operationally focused tours in the MOD and PJHQ. His final tour was as the Air Member for Operations on the Air Force Board. After leaving the RAF in 2019, he joined BAE Systems as a Director on the Air Board. He is an Honorary Professor at the University of Nottingham, and Patron of the Jon Egging Trust, a charity that provides opportunity to disadvantaged young people.