Wallace Collection - Chair

Body: Wallace Collection
Appointing Department: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sector: Culture, Media & Sport
Location: Hertford House, Manchester Square, London and virtually as required.
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: No
Time Requirements: As well as four Board Meetings a year, there may be some associated committee work, and also internal meetings with the Director and executive staff. There will also be events at which the Chair will represent the Wallace Collection. The time commitment will be about 1-2 days a month, not including telephone and email contact, with a likelihood that more time will be required in the first year.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    06/05/2022 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Prime Minister wishes to appoint a new Chair to the Board of Trustees of the Wallace Collection.  The successful candidate will bring an enthusiasm and interest in the museum and its work alongside the professional acumen and expertise to lead the Board of Trustees.  He or she will oversee the governance of the Wallace Collection and work with the executive to develop the museum’s strategy and support delivery of its objectives.

DCMS is committed to equality of opportunity and is committed to ensuring that public appointments better represent the views of the communities which they serve. We particularly encourage applicants from underrepresented groups, those based outside London and the South-East and applicants who have achieved success through non-traditional educational routes. We want to ensure any appointee is committed to promoting diversity, in its broadest possible sense. This will include embedding a commitment to the principles of levelling up and championing opportunity for all across the organisation, helping to ensure that the organisation is one in which a genuinely diverse range of views can be expressed, without fear or favour.

The Board

The Chair is assisted by the Trustees in meeting the Board’s overall responsibilities, in accordance with their statutory duties, including the protection and preservation of the collection for future generations, and the policies of the Secretary of State. The Board offers guidance and expertise to the Director and staff of the Wallace Collection.  Every member of the Board must be a positive and passionate advocate for the museum, and must ensure that its affairs as a charity are conducted appropriately.

Trustees must be able to attend the meetings of the Board, which are normally held four times a year, and such other meetings as may be necessary.

The current members of the Board are:

  • Eric Ellul – interim Chair
  • Kate de Rothschild Agius
  • Ashok Roy
  • Timothy Schroder
  • Marilyn Berk
  • Alison Taylor
  • James Barnard
  • Sophie Birshan


Appointment Details

The appointment will be made by the Prime Minister in consultation with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The process is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments, and will follow the Governance Code on Public Appointments.  It is expected that the appointment will be made and announced by the early summer in 2022. The successful candidate will be appointed as a Trustee of the Wallace Collection board and will be formally elected as Chair by the board at their first meeting, as is required by the Wallace Collection’s founding legislation.

Person Specification

Essential Criteria

The Wallace Collection is seeking a new Chair of the Board of Trustees who will be able demonstrate in their application the following essential criteria:

  • An understanding of, and commitment to the mission and values of the Wallace Collection and the skills to oversee its future development;
  • A sound understanding of governance and the leadership abilities, intellect and stature to be an effective Chair of a high calibre board;
  • The ability and enthusiasm to act as an inspirational advocate and ambassador for the Museum with a diverse range of donors and other interests, and in particular the ability and willingness to play a significant role in fundraising and endowment building activities;
  • A sound sense of general financial and funding imperatives which apply to the Wallace Collection, bringing a commercial acumen to the Board and;
  • A commitment to preserving cultural heritage, and improving education and understanding of British and World history.
  •  A strong commitment to engaging communities outside of London, and factoring UK-wide perspectives into all decision making.


Desirable Criteria

The Wallace Collection would be particularly interested in applications from individuals who demonstrate the following desirable criteria:

  • A person of significant standing with a high profile background in the arts, academic, commercial, voluntary or public sector and;
  • A good understanding of the funding of charitable organisations and ability to enhance the Museum’s self-generated income.


Additional Information

The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection is a collection of the fine and decorative arts formed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by four successive Marquesses of Hertford and the 4th Marquess’s son, Sir Richard Wallace.  It was left to the British Nation in 1897 and opened as a national museum in June 1900 in Hertford House, Manchester Square, W1, a grade II listed building in central London. The museum is internationally famous for its collection of French eighteenth-century art, European princely arms and armour and for its Old Master paintings. Further information on the museum can be found on the website: www.wallacecollection.org.

It is managed by a Director who reports to a Board of Trustees appointed by the Prime Minister and as an arm’s length body of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is financed by a combination of grant-in-aid from central government and self-generated income.

In 2018, the Wallace Collection outlined its strategic plan, ‘Making Culture Matter’, which shaped its goal to create a place of understanding, cultural pluralism, curiosity and education.  The strategic plan set out its vision to create a world class visitor experience for all ages to stimulate engagement with the collection through a new programme of exhibitions, major gallery refurbishments and an enhanced and expanded digital presence. 

Since 2020, the Wallace Collection has had to navigate the challenges of the pandemic and is facing the future with a renewed sense of the importance of its work.  The Board’s commitment to broadening accessibility and developing its digital capabilities has been amplified through this period.

Further information on the Wallace Collection can be found on its website at http://www.wallacecollection.org.

Final Version - Wallace Chair Role Specification
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