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Changes to The Crown Estate Board

The Crown Estate has announced one new appointment and one re-appointment to their board.

Karen Jones appointed to The Crown Estate Board

On the recommendation of the Prime Minister, Karen Jones is appointed as the next Board Commissioner for The Crown Estate.

Karen Jones CBE has been appointed to the board of The Crown Estate, by Royal Warrant, to serve her first term as the next Board Commissioner. Karen’s first term will commence on 1 January 2020 for an initial period of four years.

Karen is a successful entrepreneur and non-executive, with wide-ranging experience in the food, retail and leisure markets. She will bring a wealth of experience to The Crown Estate, having built several businesses, including co-founding Café Rouge and The Pelican Group.

Karen currently holds the role of Executive Chairman of the Italian restaurant chain – Prezzo; and is the Chair at Hawksmoor. Karen is also an Independent Director at Firmenich, and has held non-executive roles at ASOS plc, Virgin Active, and Booker Group plc. Between 2008 and 2017, she was a non-executive director for COFRA Group - a global retail, real estate and investment company.

James Darkins re-appointed to The Crown Estate Board

On the recommendation of the Prime Minister, James Darkins is re-appointed to The Crown Estate Board.

James Darkins has been re-appointed to The Crown Estate Board, by Royal Warrant, to serve a second four-year term, effective from 1 January 2020.

James has an extensive track record of success in the global real estate investment management industry. From 2001 he led the expansion of Henderson’s real estate business in Europe and Asia Pacific. He retired as Chief Executive of TH Real Estate (now Nuveen Real Estate) in 2015.

James is currently Chairman of the Trustees for the Walberswick Common Lands Charity and Chairman of the Blyth Estuary Partnership.

Further information

Appointments and re-appointments of The Crown Estate Commissioners are Crown Appointments made on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

Non-Executive appointments are made in line with the Governance Code on Public Appointments and regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared) to be made public. Karen Jones and James Darkins have confirmed that they have not engaged in any political activity in the last 5 years.


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