Forestry Commission director general Tim Rollinson said: "Pam Warhurst brings a wealth of experience in fields new to the Forestry Commission, but which will be important to us as we continue to develop to meet the rapidly changing needs of society. I am very much looking forward to working with her."
Warhurst, from Todmorden in West Yorkshire, was until recently a board member of Natural England, where she was the lead non-executive member working on the Countryside & Rights of Way Bill.
She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts & Manufacturing, and chairs Pennine Prospects, a regeneration company for the South Pennines, and Incredible Edible Todmorden, a local food partnership.
Warhurst has previously been the leader of Calderdale Council, deputy chair and acting chairman of the Countryside Agency, a board member of Yorkshire Forward, and chairman of the National Countryside Access Forum and the Calderdale NHS Trust.
She was appointed CBE in 2005 for services to the environment.
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