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Claire Horton CBE - Chair

As a lifelong advocate for animals, Claire Horton CBE is delighted to join us during our landmark 200th anniversary year. She's very well known and respected in the animal welfare world, and has worked alongside and championed our charity for many years.

She brings a wealth of experience from the public, private and not-for-profit sector, spanning almost 25 years at chief executive and board level. She has worked nationally and internationally to develop policy and bring about legislative change, much of it in the animal welfare arena.

Claire's work for animals

Claire was Chief Executive of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home from 2010 to 2021. At the same time she was Chairman of the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes (ADCH), the UK rescue sector’s umbrella and membership body, for six years until 2021. She worked as Special Advisor to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW) and a Non-Executive Director on Defra’s Animal Health and Welfare Board for England (AHWBE), from 2014 to 2021.

She has worked, campaigned and advocated extensively for changes to animal welfare laws, including animal cruelty sentencing, puppy farms and back street breeding, the compulsory microchipping of dogs, and the illegal import and smuggling of puppies and kittens.

Other roles, awards and interests

Claire has been Director General of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) since January 2021. She is a trustee at The National Archives Trust and a member of the University of Roehampton Development Board. She mentors and supports young and aspiring leaders across the voluntary and public sectors.

In 2015, Claire was made an Honorary Doctor of Laws (DLaws) by the University of Roehampton for her work nationally in raising standards of animal welfare and services to the community. In 2016 she was named Charity Chief Executive of the Year at the Third Sector Awards and won Director of the Year in the 2017 Institute of Directors Awards. She holds an MBA from Warwick Business School.

The New Year Honours List 2020 saw Claire appointed Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth for services to animal welfare.

She lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and enjoys walking her rescue dogs, volunteering locally and reading.