The Victoria and Albert Museum is governed by a board of trustees appointed by the Prime Minister. The following trustees make up the current board.
Nigel Webb, Interim Chair
Appointed 1 January 2017, reappointed 1 January 2021, appointed Senior Trustee 15 September 2023
Nigel is a Chartered Surveyor with over 38 years of experience in property investment and development. He is former Director and Head of Development at The British Land Company Plc, one of the country's leading property developers.
He has and has been responsible for over 15m sq ft of development including some of London's landmark buildings. His experience includes developing projects such as The Leadenhall Building ("Cheesegrater"), The Broadgate Tower, The Willis Building, the UBS headquarters at 5 Broadgate, Ropemaker Place and development of the Regents' Place campus.
Nigel is a Non-Executive Director at Barratt Developments PLC and Precede Capital Partners, as well as Chair of the Construction Productivity Taskforce.
Appointed 2 July 2018, reappointed 26 January 2022
Kavita Puri is an award-winning BBC journalist, executive producer and broadcaster. She presents documentaries on Radio 4 and the World Service including The Inquiry. She devised, wrote and presented the landmark three-part series Partition Voices for Radio 4, which won the Royal Historical Society's Radio and Podcast Award and its overall Public History Prize. She wrote the critically-acclaimed book Partition Voices: Untold British Stories based on the series. It is being adapted for the stage by the Donmar Warehouse with Tara Theatre. She is the creator and presenter of the Radio 4 series Three Pounds in My Pocket, which charts the social history of British South Asians from the post-war years. It is on its fifth series. She writes and lectures on this subject. While editor of Our World, its foreign documentaries were recognised with awards including the Royal Television Society and the Foreign Press Association. Kavita was named Journalist of the Year by the Asian Media Awards. She worked for many years at Newsnight and studied Law at Cambridge University.
Sir Ben Elliot
Appointed 1 January 2017, reappointed 1 January 2021
Sir Ben Elliot is the co-founder of the international concierge group Quintessentially, which he started in London in 2000. Ben also co-founded Hawthorn Advisors, a corporate communications business, in 2013.
He is the Founding Trustee of Quintessentially Foundation, which works with numerous charities with a mission to help children and young people living in poverty. Since he founded the Foundation, it has raised more than £14m for various charitable causes. Sir Ben is the Chairman of the Philanthropy Board of the Royal Albert Hall and a Trustee of The Eranda Rothschild Foundation. He served as Chairman of the Conservative Party between 2019 and 2022, and was the Government's first Food Surplus and Waste Champion from 2018 to 2022. He is also the Honorary Treasurer of the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) and is a UK partner of the world-renowned restaurant Din Tai Fung. He graduated with a BSc in politics from the University of Bristol and is married with two children.
Dr Paul Thompson
Appointed 1 September 2009 (ex officio)
Paul Thompson is Vice Chancellor of the RCA. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Bristol, as well as master's and doctoral degrees from the University of East Anglia. Prior to his appointment at the RCA, Paul was Director of the Smithsonian Institution's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Prior to his position at the Cooper-Hewitt, Paul was Director of the Design Museum in London, from 1992 to 2001, and before that, he was Curator of Contemporary Design there, from 1988 to 1992. From 1987 to 1988, Paul worked at the Design Council. Outside the world of galleries and museums, he has worked diligently to heighten awareness of the role design plays within an increasingly global society. He is Chair of the Chelsea Physic Garden (2023 – present) and Chair Designate of the British Council (2024 – present).
Marc St John
Appointed February 2019
Marc is a former partner and head of investor relations at CVC Capital Partners (1999 – 2018). He also worked for Citicorp in New York, Paris and London (1985 – 98) and The Colorado Springs School, Colorado (1980 – 82).
He serves or has served as chair of the board at Power2 (a leading youth charity), London (2013 – 2021); Trustee and Executive Committee Member of Colorado College (2015 – 2020); St Antony's College Financial Advisory Committee, Oxford (2009 – 18); the Corporate Advisory Group to the British Academy (2018 – 2020); the European Venture Capital Association, Brussels (2002 – 08); and the American University of Paris, Paris (2000 – 05).
Marc has dual USA/UK citizenship, is married to Dr Julie Newton, a Research Fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford University. He holds a Masters in International Relations from Columbia University and a BA from Colorado College.
Appointed February 2019
Jonathan Anderson is one of the leading fashion designers of his generation, earning both critical acclaim and commercial success with the collections he designs for his eponymous label, JW Anderson, and as creative director of the LVMH-owned Spanish luxury house LOEWE.
Anderson attended the London College of Fashion and launched his own menswear collection in 2008, under the JW Anderson label. In 2010, he expanded into womenswear and in 2013 was named the creative director of Loewe. Two years later, in 2015, he became the first fashion designer to be awarded both Men's and Womenswear Designer of the Year by the British Fashion Council. Over the course of his career, Anderson has also collaborated on collections and products for brands including Converse, Coca-Cola, Topshop and Uniqlo, among others.
Outside the world of fashion, Anderson is a dedicated supporter of art and craft. In 2016, he founded the LOEWE FOUNDATION Craft Prize, the world's first international award for contemporary craft and, in 2017, he curated Disobedient Bodies, an exhibition at The Hepworth Wakefield in Yorkshire.
Born in Northern Ireland in 1984 Jonathan is the son of Irish rugby player, Willie Anderson, and Heather Buckley, who worked as a secondary school teacher.
Appointed 1 April 2019
After studying chemistry at the University of Sussex, David Bomford went to the National Gallery, London, where he became Senior Restorer of paintings; during nearly four decades there he worked on many important paintings and organised an award-winning series of exhibitions and catalogues on the techniques of European painters, including early Italian artists, Rembrandt and the Impressionists.
In 2007, he moved to the J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, as Director of Collections and then as acting Director of the museum. In 2012, he moved to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, as Chair of Conservation and Head of European Art. While in Houston, he was in charge of the design and construction of a new state-of-the-art conservation building and curated exhibitions on subjects including Rubens, Michelangelo, Van Gogh, Spanish Colonial painting, the Habsburgs and the British monarchy.
David Bomford has been the Secretary-General of the International Institute for Conservation; editor of the international journal Studies in Conservation; Slade Professor of Fine Art at the University of Oxford; and has had visiting professorships in conservation and art history in Mexico City, in Sao Paolo, and at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts, National Gallery, Washington. He has many academic interests, including the study of unfinished art.
Appointed March 2020
Martin is a seasoned Retail and Marketing professional with over 25 years experience, particularly in eCommerce. He is COO of Rainbowwave, a global fashion sales and communications agency. Martin has worked with some of the world's leading luxury and fashion retailers at key moments in their development including: Marketing Director at NET-A-PORTER; Matches Fashion and MyTheresa during their transition from boutiques into global online businesses; VP of Business Development at Lane Crawford in Hong Kong. As a consultant Martin worked with over 30 brands including Margaret Howell, Mulberry, Paul Smith, Alice Temperley, SpaceNK and Charlotte Olympia. He is a mentor on the Walpole Brands of Tomorrow programme.
C. Allegra Berman
Appointed March 2020
Allegra is Global Head of Institutional Sales, responsible for the sales of all markets products, covering FX & EM Rates, equities, securities financing, global debt markets and securities services. Allegra is a member of the Markets and Securities Executive Committee.
Prior to this role, she was Co-Head of Securities Services, leading a business including custody, clearing, fund administration and securities lending. Previously, Allegra was Head of the Financial Institutions Group, EMEA and Global Head of the Public Sector Group in Global Banking. She was responsible for delivering the full range of financial products and solutions across this client base. Before joining HSBC in 2013, she spent 12 years at UBS, where she latterly co-led UBS's Debt Capital Markets business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and was Global Head of Public Sector Fixed Income. This was in addition to her role as Vice Chair of Global Capital Markets.
Allegra was a Non-Executive Director of HSBC Asset Management UK (2016 – 2018) and a Board Member of the International Capital Market Association (2011 – 2013). She served on the Board of Trustees of the National Portrait Gallery (2011 – 2019) where she was Chair of both the Gallery's Investment and Finance Committees. In October 2021, Allegra was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Wolfson Foundation and is Chair of the Risk and Audit Committee.
Allegra has an MA in Modern Languages from Magdalen College, Oxford, where she was a Trustee of the Development Board (2014 – 2023).
Amanda Levete CBE
Appointed March 2020
Amanda Levete is a Stirling Prize winning architect, and founder of the architect studio AL_A. Recently completed projects include the Victoria and Albert Museum Exhibition Road Quarter, MAAT Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology in Lisbon, Central Embassy in Bangkok; a headquarters building for Sky, Maggie's Cancer Centre in Southampton and two buildings for Wadham College, Oxford. Ongoing commissions include Paisley Museum in Scotland; D'Ieteren's HQ in Brussels and the Belgrade Philharmonic Concert Hall in Serbia. Amanda is a regular radio and TV broadcaster, writes for a number of publications and lectures throughout the world. In 2018 she was awarded the Jane Drew Prize, in 2019 she was elected an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and in 2021 she became a Royal Academician.
Appointed March 2020
Amanda Spielman is Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector at Ofsted, responsible for the inspection of schools, colleges, apprenticeships, adult education, nurseries, childminders and children’s social care.
Before this she was chair of Ofqual, the qualifications regulator, and research and policy director at the academy chain Ark Schools. Her early career was in strategy consulting, finance and investment at KPMG, Kleinwort Benson, Mercer Management Consulting and Nomura International.
She has also been a council member at Brunel University London and the Institute of Education, a director of the Wales Millennium Centre, and a school governor.
Appointed 5 September 2022
Rusty has been a collector since he was at Bristol University and used to buy antique silver and jewellery at auction rooms and fairs in the West Country. He has also collected Regency furniture, English watercolours and, over the last 20 years, paintings by the Bloomsbury set, Modern British artists, as well as Contemporary Art and Pottery.
Rusty has worked in finance all his career: at Salomon Brothers on the trading floor, then at Credit Suisse heading the global foreign exchange business, and over the last decade has been on the Private Banking side as financial adviser to some of the most successful UK based entrepreneurs.
Rusty has worked in Japan, Switzerland and the US, though predominantly in the UK, where he is based full time, working for UBS.
Professor Rosalind Polly Blakesley
Appointed 5 September 2022
Rosalind Polly Blakesley, a prize-winning author and art historian, is Professor of Russian and European Art and a Fellow of Pembroke College at the University of Cambridge. She has served on the boards of the National Portrait Gallery, the Hamilton Kerr Institute and Kettle's Yard, and is now a Syndic of the Fitzwilliam Museum and Trustee of the Samuel Courtauld Trust.
Polly's research focuses on the visual culture of imperial Russia and the Baltic region, with books including The Arts and Crafts Movement, Russian Art and the West (co-editor), From Realism to the Silver Age (co-editor) and, most recently, Women Artists in the Reign of Catherine the Great. She has also worked on exhibitions including An Imperial Collection at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC; International Arts and Crafts at the V&A; and Russia and the Arts, which she curated at the National Portrait Gallery as part of a pioneering exchange with the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. Awards include the Pushkin Medal and, for her book, The Russian Canvas, the Art Newspaper Russia Best Book Award and the Pushkin House Russian Book Prize.
Appointed 5 September 2022
Zewditu is Senior Researcher at the think tank The Legatum Institute and Deputy Editor of the digital history publication History Reclaimed. She is a Young Ambassador of the International Churchill Society.
Between 2021 and 2022 Zewditu worked at the think tank Policy Exchange, where she was Head of the History Matters Project: a policy unit focussing on the preservation of British history and heritage. In 2020 she served on the government commission on housing and architecture 'Building Better, Building Beautiful' as an assistant to its late Chair, Professor Sir Roger Scruton.
Zewditu has been passionate about art and design from a young age and enjoys drawing, painting and sewing. She is of British-Ethiopian descent and speaks Amharic and Tigrinya.