With travel within the Bailiwick now restored, Kath Jones has now taken up her position as
the Island’s new Chief Executive.
Originally from South Wales, Kath grew up in beautiful Pembrokeshire and has spent the
majority of her professional life in London. She is happiest when able to glimpse the sea every day,
her most recent work has been as Senior Administrator to the Government of Sark.
A qualified environmental scientist, Kath began her career with an environmental
consultancy conducting air and water quality testing at sites including the Bank of England, awomen’s prison, schools and major retailers. Part of her training as an environmental
scientist included four months of conservation work at St Ouens Bay in Jersey.
Switching to local government in 1988, her new career began as an official witness at an
exhumation on her first day at work. She has held multiple public sector roles including
Health and Safety and Environmental Health enforcement, Performance Improvement,
Human Resources (HR), Information Technology (IT), Strategy and Policy.
While working full time, Kath completed her MBA in 1995 majoring in strategic HR, attaining
skills which were later used in both her senior management posts for the London Borough
of Redbridge (1997-2005) and Improvement Manager at the Local Government Association
(2005-2011). In these roles, she worked on improving team, departmental and corporate
performance, ethical governance and leadership development.
While at the LGA, Kath worked with local and national politicians, central and local government officers, their partners and stakeholders across England to improve outcomes for communities. Her work on improving the interdepartmental relationship between central and local government, with a particular focus on health, was shortlisted for the Civil Service Awards for contribution to central government excellence in 2008.
Earlier work with the University of Nottingham on stress and wellbeing at work was
internationally recognised as best practice and resulted in her being invited to speak at an
international conference in Copenhagen, and subsequently headhunted to work for a
government agency in Melbourne, Australia, as State Project Advisor.
She completed the Ashridge Business School Future Leaders Programme in 2010. Three
years later she undertook a programme at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations which
she reports as “the most challenging way of learning I’ve ever experienced”.
Kath was appointed Senior Administrator to the Government of Sark in November 2013 and
quickly felt part of the community through volunteering at sheep racing, getting involved
with amateur dramatics and hosting musicians for the Sark Folk Festival. She’s a sailing
beginner and has refused to be put off despite breaking an arm while on a friend’s yacht.
She was able to take a three-month sabbatical in 2003 to achieve an ambition to travel with
a group in Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and the Galapagos islands. Highlights
were a hostel with a resident llama, tarantulas in car parks, riding out with gaucho
cowhands and being joined for a swim by a green turtle in the Galapagos. Her turn to cook
came at 5000 metres in the Andes Altiplano.
Kath maintains her work/life balance by walking her rescue dog Dexter and enjoys a variety of
hobbies and interests. These include gospel choir singing, theatre, films, art, travel, the
natural environment and cooking for friends. And it has been reported that she’s pretty
good at lime plastering, too.