Dr Paul Smith

Core Review Panel

Dr Paul Smith is the Secretary General of Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI). BGCI is the largest plant conservation network in the world, comprising >850 member institutions in 120 countries. BGCI leads the Global Tree Assessment, and recently published the State of the World’s Trees Report showing that one third of the world’s 60,000 tree species are threatened with extinction. With a career spanning 30 years in conservation, Paul joined BGCI as Secretary General in February 2015. Prior this, Paul was Director of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank for nine years. Paul trained as a plant ecologist, and is a specialist in the plants and vegetation of southern Africa. He edited the Ecological Survey of Zambia, is the author of two field guides to the flora of south-central Africa, the Vegetation Atlas of Madagascar, The Book of Seeds, and Trees – from root to leaf.  Paul is a Trustee of the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Co-Chair of IUCN’s Plant Conservation Committee and Chair of England’s Arboreta Advisory Committee. He is the recipient of the New England Wildflower Society’s Medal for Services to International Plant Conservation and the David Fairchild Medal for Plant Exploration.

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