Dr Paul Smith is the Secretary General of Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI). BGCI is the largest plant conservation network in the world, comprising 600 member institutions in 100 countries. Paul joined BGCI as Secretary General in March 2015. Prior to this, Paul was Head of the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank (MSB). During his nine years at the helm there, seeds from >25,000 plant species were conserved in the MSB and, in 2009, the MSB achieved its first significant milestone, securing seed from 10% of the world’s plant species, prioritising rare, threatened and useful plants. Paul trained as a plant ecologist, and is a specialist in the plants and vegetation of southern Africa. He is the author of two field guides to the flora of south-central Africa and the Vegetation Atlas of Madagascar. He is a Trustee of the National Botanic Garden of Wales, and 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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