Dame Vikki is Chair of Festival UK* 2022 and a board member of the National Theatre. Until 2018 Vikki was Chairman of the Royal Society of Arts, the first in its history to be invited to return for a second three-year term. She was the Chairman of 14-18 NOW – a programme of First World War Centenary arts commissions that reached over 35 million people over five years.
Vikki was the Executive Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company from 2003 until 2013, and before that Joint Chief Executive of the Royal Court Theatre. She trained as a Stage Manager at the Central School of Speech and Drama.
Vikki was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Birmingham, becoming a Doctor of Letters in December 2009 and was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2020 for services to drama and the RSA.
Dame Vikki Heywood CBE, FRSA
Sir Brendan Barber was the TUC General Secretary from 2003 to 2012. He is a member of the Board of Transport for London and of the Council of City University London which he graduated from with a BSc in Social Sciences in 1974.
His career has been almost exclusively within the TUC where he held the post of General Secretary from 2003 to 2012. Additionally, he sat on the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service Council from 1995 to 2004, the Board of Sport England from 1999 to 2003 and the Court of the Bank of England from 2003 to 2012.
He is a Visiting Fellow at the Said Business School, Oxford University, and a Visiting Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford. In 2007 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the City University. Sir Brendan was knighted in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to employment relations.
Sir Brendan was appointed Chair of Acas in January 2014.
Sir Brendan Barber
Lady Susan is a former Public Relations Consultant for Edelma. She is a Trustee of The Silver Line and was a volunteer at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital for several years working in a day unit for children under five with cerebral palsy. Susan was Chair of the Development Council and a Board member of the National Theatre for 10 years.
Lady Susan Chinn
Laura Gander-Howe is Director of Public Engagement & Culture for UAL:London College of Fashion.
Her role is focussed on supporting the College’s move to a brand new campus in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Before this role, Laura was Director: Learning of Arts Council England. During her ten year tenure, she oversaw the policy and strategy development for cultural education.
Trevor trained at the Webber Douglas Academy.
He began his career working for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group and for the last thirty years worked for Cameron Mackintosh latterly as Executive Producer and Head of Casting. He left Cameron Mackintosh Ltd., in March 2020 but is retained as a consultant to the company. His Casting credits include Cats, Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera, Martin Guerre, My Fair Lady (National Theatre), Oliver!, Mary Poppins, Avenue Q, Barnum and Hamilton.
Benjamin is the Board’s student alumnus representative and graduated in 2019 with a BA in Performance – Acting.
Roles whilst training include Creon in Medea, Dan in Boy and Soloman in The Fear.
Andrew is a qualified accountant and has had an extensive career in finance and administration. He is currently Bursar of Somerville College, Oxford, responsible for finance, HR, estates, operations, accommodation, and its catering and conference business.
From 2003 – 2012 Andrew was Director of Finance and Administration at the Royal Shakespeare Company with responsibility for finance, HR, IT, estates, health and safety, and part of the senior executive team with the Artistic and Executive Directors. He played a key role in transforming the finances of the RSC, introducing new systems and processes throughout the organisation and managing the ambitious redevelopment of its site.
Prior to this he was Finance Director of Oxford University Press’ International Division then its Group Financial Controller at Oxford University Press over a ten year period.
Andrew has a degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Liverpool. He is married with three young children.
John Reiss is a broadly experienced business and not-for-profit leader. He understands popular culture and knows how to access wide audiences.
Professional accountancy with PwC was followed by senior finance positions in industry before he established his own consultancy advising on corporate strategy, financing and management. Clients have included entertainment, media and consumer businesses. He co-founded magazine Opera Now and the Guinness Encyclopaedia of Popular Music and was a director of George Harrison’s HandMade Films, of collectible model maker Corgi Classics, of media access services provider IMS, of market research agency First Research International and film marketing services business Miracle Media Group.
John is currently executive chairman of Premier which he has built to be the UK’s largest international creative communications agency specialising in entertainment, arts and culture. He is also chair of educational supply business Creative Art Products, of multiplex cinema Peckhamplex and of Big Data software consultancy Traak Systems.
Through thirty years in professional and business life, he has been active with not-for-profit organisations. He has been a comprehensive school governor, helped a number of national charities, worked on development committees of major arts organisations such as The BFI and was chair of the trustee board of Missing People for a decade.
Johnson is Cabinet Member for Growth, Development and Planning at Southwark Council. He was born and raised in Peckham where he serves as a Labour councillor.
Rosemary is one of the most prominent women in British theatre of the modern era.
The business she co-founded in 1992, Ambassador Theatre Group, went on to become the world’s number one live-theatre company. Her latest venture is Trafalgar Entertainment, a premium international live entertainment business focussed on new productions and the distribution of live-streaming innovative content.
She was a National Member of the Arts Council England Board, chaired two major appeals for Great Ormond Street Hospital and is currently Joint Chairman of The Hall for Cornwall in Truro.
Dame Rosemary Squire OBE
Giles trained at Mountview. His career has included Candide, Hamlet and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (National Theatre). He was in the original casts of Avenue Q and Book of Mormon. Most recently he originated the role of Aaron Burr in the London production of Hamilton, for which he won the 2018 Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical.