The museum is a charity governed by a board of 14 trustees. The board of trustees delegates its authority to seven sub-committees, which include trustees, senior management staff and co-opted advisors, to advise it on specific areas of the Design Museum’s operations. These are the Curatorial, Development and Communications, Enterprise, Finance, Learning, Nominations and Project Delivery committees.
Appointed December 2016, Lord Mandelson took up his post in March 2017. Lord Mandelson has a distinguished track record. He is a former European Trade Commissioner and British First Secretary of State. Prior to this, he was Minister without Portfolio, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Northern Ireland Secretary and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills in the British government. He is now a member of the House of Lords, chairman of Global Counsel, a public policy advisory business he co-founded in 2010 and a senior adviser to Lazard. He is President of the Policy Network think tank and he became Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University in 2016.
Appointed September 2013. Zdeněk, 55, is active in several industries. He is the owner of Czech publishing house Economia and has seen a wide group of businesses flourish across several continents. With a lifelong passion for design, and interests in cultural and intellectual development and human rights, he founded the Bakala Foundation in the Czech Republic and the Fondation Zdenek et Michaela Bakala in Switzerland, which provide scholarships at prestigious universities around the world to talented Czech and Swiss students. He also supports the Václav Havel Library in Prague, a centre for the documentation and research of modern Czech history, with an emphasis on promoting the ideas and works of former Czech president Václav Havel. He is a partner of DOX, the Centre for Contemporary Art, Architecture and Design, Prague, and he initiated the opening of the CEE affiliate of the Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organisation. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.
Appointed February 2016. In her executive career, Wendy led consumer-related organisations, creating strategies and driving change. She spent 15 year at McKinsey and Company in both San Francisco and London with nine years as a partner. At McKinsey she led the UK Consumer Practice and served a number of global clients on embracing the digital world in their strategies. She has held a number of senior roles in industry including as CEO of Jack Wills, as Global Chief Marketing Officer and member of the Executive Committee at Vodafone, plc, starting her career as a Brand Manager at Procter & Gamble.
Wendy is a Non-Executive Director of Logitech, Great Portland Estates and NHS England, as well as the Chairman of Barnardo’s.
She holds an BA in Economics from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.
Appointed February 2012. Nicholas became a trustee of the Design Museum ahead of its opening in Shad Thames in 1989 and was trustee and honorary treasurer until he left England in 1993 to work in Asia for three years. He returned in 1996 and became a trustee of The Conran Foundation and has been consequently closely involved with supporting the museum for over 25 years.
After a 30 year career in banking in London, Sydney, Singapore and Hong Kong Nicholas became an independent director, then chairman, of hotel group De Vere up until the completion of its sale in 2015. He is currently the Senior Independent Director of Coats Group plc and the Chairman of Fidelity China Special Situations plc. He is also a member of Council of the University of Exeter.
Appointed November 2008. Sebastian studied Industrial Design Engineering at Central St. Martins, where he gave the Sex Pistols their first booking and designed the record sleeves and posters for The Clash. After working at corporate identity consultancy Wolff Olins and leading hard-goods development at Mothercare, in 1986 he founded Sebastian Conran Associates design studio, which he continues to lead.
Sebastian has taught furniture design at the Royal College of Art, lectures frequently, judges many international design awards (Audi, D&AD, Design Week, Dyson, Red Dot, RSA, etc.) and has written several books, articles and papers on design.
An active member of many bodies, Sebastian has worked with many design and educational institutions including: Designer in Residence, Sheffield University Science Faculty; Visiting Professor of the University of the Arts London; Chairman of Design & Technology Alliance — UK Home Office's body tackling crime with design; Chairman of the Creative Industries KTN steering group Technologies Innovation Network; Chairman Design Action in Scotland steering group Scotland's Design & Industry knowledge exchange; Trustee of the Design Council, the Conran Foundation and D&AD; Governor and Trustee of Bryanston School; Hon. Fellow, the Royal College of Art; Hon. Doctorate of Technology, Loughborough University; Hon. Doctorate of Arts, Hertfordshire University; Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts; Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers; Fellow of the Institute of Packaging; Ambassador for ICAN, the children's education charity; Ambassador for ACID, the anti copying in design lobby group.
Appointed December 1992. Terence Conran is a renowned designer, restauranteur and retailer and the founder of the Design Museum. In 1964, he founded the Habitat chain of home furnishings stores and acted as its Chair until 1990. Habitat revolutionised the UK High Street in the 1960s and 1970s by bringing intelligent, modern design within reach of the general population. In the 1990s, Terence established Conran Holdings, a group of companies involved in design, retailing, restaurants and hotels, of which he is Chairman. From a relatively small business managed from an apartment at Butlers Wharf owning one restaurant, one shop and a design studio, Conran Holdings has grown into a company which today owns restaurants and shops in London, Paris, New York, Copenhagen and across Japan, as well as Conran & Partners, a thriving architecture and design practice. Following the sale of a 49% stake in the restaurant business in 2006, Conran restaurants now operate under the name D&D London.
Selling over 20 million copies of his publications worldwide, Terence has written over 30 books that broadly reflect his design philosophy. They include: The Essential House Book, Terence Conran on Design, The Ultimate House Book, Easy Living, Design: Intelligence Made Visible and Outdoors. In 2010 Terence opened the Boundary in Shoreditch — a restaurant, rooftop bar & grill, cafe, bakery and foodstore with 17 individually designed bedrooms. He also released the book Terence Conran’s Inspiration and the Bibendum Cookbook to celebrate the 21st birthday of the restaurant.
Appointed July 2012. Hugh qualified as a solicitor in Scotland before joining Bank of Scotland group, where he spent five years as a corporate financier working primarily on public company transactions, including a role as advisor to HM Government on the privatisation of the Scottish electricity industry. He re-entered the legal profession with Withers LLP, as a corporate partner for 13 years before becoming a consultant in 2008.
At Withers, he specialised in corporate transactions and gradually began to work with creative people, largely as a result of the firm’s Italian practice. His work became increasingly focused on the creative industries and particularly in the luxury sector. Hugh has advised the creative directors and designers of brands such as Givenchy, Chloe, Louis Vuitton, Mulberry, Pringle, Pucci, Versace, Bally, Halston, Pollini, Garrard, Alexander McQueen and Cerruti. He has also supported young designers such as Erdem, Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders, Aitor Throup, Mary Katrantzou, Peter Pilotto and Nicholas Kirkwood. In sectors other than fashion, he advises people like David Collins, Chris Levine, Jefferson Hack, David Sims, Marc Newson, Kanye West and Bill Amberg and brands like Edward Green. Since retiring as a partner at Withers, Hugh has been working as a strategic consultant to creative businesses.
Appointed March 2011. Johannes P. Huth joined KKR in May 1999 as Managing Director. He is a member of KKR and he is responsible for its operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He is also a member of the KKR’s Management Committee and several of the firm’s Investment Committees. Prior to joining KKR in 1999, Johannes was a member of the Management Committee of Investcorp and jointly responsible for the company's operations in Europe. From 1986 to 1991, he worked at Salomon Brothers, where he was a Vice President in the Mergers and Acquisitions departments in London and New York. He completed a BSc. with Highest Honors from the London School of Economics and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.
Johannes is currently a Member of the Supervisory Board of Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG), a Member of the Supervisory Board of Kion, President of KKR & Co SAS, Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board of NXP BV, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of ProSieben Sat 1 Media AG, Member of the Board of INAER Aviation Group S.L. and a Member of the Advisory Board of Wild Flavors GmbH, Governor of the London School of Economics, a visiting Fellow at the Said School of Business in Oxford and the Chairman of the Private Equity Foundation.
Appointed July 2015. Asif Khan’s London-based architecture practice was founded in 2007. Works range from cultural buildings and masterplans to houses, temporary pavilions, exhibitions, installations and products. The design solution in each project is highly distinct, yet unified by a meticulous understanding of place, purpose and potential.
Notable projects include a finalist design for the Helsinki Guggenheim Museum, the MegaFaces Pavilion at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games awarded the Innovation Grand Prix at Cannes Lion 2014 and a Red Dot for design, ‘7 Billion’ a runner-up for the British Pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015, Coca-Cola’s Beatbox pavilion at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Parhelia at Design Miami 2012 and his first project West Beach Cafe in Littlehampton in 2008.
Khan was a Designer in Residence in 2010 at the Design Museum and was awarded Designer of the Future at Design Miami in 2011. He continues to exhibit and lecture on the studio’s work globally.
Davina has worked at the heart of the international design industry for more than twenty years. The founder and director of Cultural Agenda, a leading public relations and communications agency, she has collaborated with many of the most influential design companies and individuals including Alessi, Boffi, Cappellini, Cassina, Artemide, Foscarini, Bisazza and Nigel Coates. She has originated partner campaigns and curated content at the London Design Festival , the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Tate Modern, Milan’s Salone del Mobile, amongst others.
Davina is a Patron of Design at the Victoria and Albert Museum and a Trustee and Founding Benefactor of the London School of Architecture. She sits on the Advisory Panel of IntoUniversity, a charity that provides support to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds by widening access and narrowing the opportunity gap in education.
A supporter of the Design Museum for more than ten years, Davina has served on the Funding the Future Campaign committee, the Time for Design auction and has sat on the Curatorial Committee since its inception in 2012.
Davina is an active collector and commissioner of contemporary design and craft art, focusing on the work of maker artists. She is an advisor to LAPADA, the UK’s largest art and antiques dealer association, with a strong knowledge and interest in antiques and decorative arts.
Appointed in February 2016. Saba is Vice Chairman of Global Financial Sponsors at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. She is responsible for developing and strengthening Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s global relationships with key private equity firms. She works closely with the firm’s global leadership team to drive the growth of the global leveraged buyout advisory and financing business.
An experienced mergers and acquisitions banker, Saba is firmly established as a trusted advisor to the world’s leading private equity firms. She has consistently been ranked on the Financial News Top 100 Women in the City list.
Saba has also dedicated time and resources to supporting the cultural, charitable and diversity initiatives that she is passionate about. She is an active member of several Diversity and Women in the City networks in the UK. She is also a member of the bank’s Philanthropy Advisory Board for EMEA which provides strategic direction and oversight of the bank’s community commitments in the region. This role includes reviewing grants made across Europe from The Bank of America Foundation, a grant making foundation which has pledged $2 billion across 10 years to support local community, cultural and women’s empowerment initiatives.
Saba has a BA in Economics with Honors from Harvard University (’91), and an M.Phil in Economics from Queens’ College Cambridge (’93). Born in Pakistan, she lives with her family in Kensington, London.
Mike is a current audit partner in the Financial Services practice at KPMG with extensive experience in leading multidisciplinary teams undertaking audit and capital markets assignments in the Financial and Not for Profit sectors.
Mike has been an audit partner at KPMG since 1996, having joined the firm in 1984 direct from Bristol University. Mike has had two long-term international secondments (in Melbourne and Dubai) and has worked on projects in nearly all of the world’s financial centres.
Mike’s expertise covers UK GAAP, International Financial Reporting Standards and US GAAP, and he has wide experience over the spectrum of corporate governance and high level controls and capital, liquidity and risk management. He has undertaken a large number of systems and controls reviews as a skilled person for the regulators covering high level controls, operational risk, structured finance, liquidity reporting and internal audit.
He has considerable transaction experience both in Mergers & Acquisitions, and capital raisings, and has recently been involved in two recent challenger bank IPOs, the purchase of Visa Europe by Visa Inc, and the retail bond issue by the Charities Aid Foundation in March 2016.
Mike is both a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales and an Associate Member of the Association of Corporate Treasurers. Mike was also the founding editor of KPMG’s semi-annual Financial Institutions Performance Review.
Julian Treger has a 30 year career in investment management. After being trained in a traditional merchant bank, he attended Harvard Business School, subsequently working with Lord Rothschild for several years. He then branched out independently in the nineties to found the Active Value Funds, which pioneered corporate governance investing in the U.K. In 2005, he co-founded the Audley funds. Latterly he has specialised in natural resource investing.
Julian has sat on many boards in his career. He is currently CEO of Anglo Pacific Group plc, a global natural resources royalty business, and director of Mantos Copper and Broadwell Capital Limited.
Away from his corporate responsibilities, the Treger Family has accumulated a globally significant collection of design from the twentieth and twenty first centuries. In addition, Julian has supported design commissions of artists such as Zaha Hadid, Studio Job, Tom Dixon, Tord Boontje and Studio Swine. Julian Treger has also supported design exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Harvard Graduate School of Design as well as the funding of the Design Museum.
Mr Treger is a member of the Burlington Committee of the Royal Academy of Arts and the Jose Luis Sert Council at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. In addition, he has been a member of the Jury of London’s Pavilion of Art and Design fair for the past decade.
Appointed in July 2012. Julian Vogel has worked for the last 28 years as creative director of brand communications agency Modus, recently becoming CEO of the newly merged Modus BPCM based in London with offices in New York and Los Angeles. He works with a diverse portfolio of brands within the fashion, beauty and design sectors, from established British and international players to luxury start-ups. He helps brands to tell their story and reach their audience, providing strategic creative communication platforms across all media.
As well as a PR consultancy, Julian has produced an awarding winning documentary film about the hairdresser Vidal Sassoon. He is also involved with the British Heart Foundation and works with other institutions including the Whitechapel Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museum. Julian was a member of the museum's Development Committee for seven years before becoming a trustee of the museum and the Development Committee's chair. Julian is now chair of the Public Affairs Committee.
Philip studied Classics and Modern Languages at Oxford University and is the company secretary of the Design Museum.
Philip is a senior partner in the corporate law practice at international law firm, Brown Rudnick LLP. He practises corporate and commercial law, with particular emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, strategic investments and joint ventures.
Philip also has an active pro bono practice, with considerable experience advising English charities, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations.
Before embarking upon his legal career, Philip lived and worked in Japan as a cultural adviser to the Japanese Government.
Trustees Emeritus / Emerita
Christopher Frayling was Rector of the Royal College of Art, Chairman of the Arts Council, the Design Council and the Royal Mint Design Committee. He was also the longest-serving Trustee of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Christopher is a well-known champion of arts education and of everyday culture.
He studied History at Cambridge and wrote his doctorate on Jean-Jacques Rousseau's ideas about the arts in society. After working as a film researcher at the Imperial War Museum, he was a lecturer at the Universities of Exeter and Bath in the seventies.In 1979, he was appointed Professor of Cultural History at the Royal College of Art - at that time, the youngest Professor of the Humanities in the country- and over the next decade he set up pioneering postgraduate courses at the RCA in the History of Design, Curating Contemporary Art and The Conservation of Design. From 1996 to 2009 he was the College's Rector, and in 2000 he was knighted for "services to art and design education". In the meantime, he became an accomplished broadcaster on network radio and television, winning a Gold award at the New York Film and Television Festival for his six-part Channel 4 series about advertising called 'The Art of Persuasion', and a Sony Award for the best original script for his radio drama-documentary 'The Rime of the Bounty'. His television series for BBC television included 'The Face of Tutankhamun', 'Strange Landscape' and 'Nightmare - the birth of horror' .Christopher has written twenty-five books on aspects of popular culture (including 'Spaghetti Westerns'; 'The 2001 File'; 'Frankenstein- the first two hundred years'; and 'Ken Adam - the art of production design'); on arts education (including 'The Art Pack'; 'On Craftsmanship'; '150 years of the Royal College of Art'); and accompanying his television series. He is currently a Fellow of Churchill College Cambridge; a Senior Research Fellow of the V&A; a Visiting Professor of Arts at the University of Lancaster; a Trustee of the Conran and Paolozzi Foundations and an 1851 Royal Commissioner.
Jill Ritblat is a qualified barrister and holds a BA Hons in History of Art, Hon FRAM and an Hon FRIBA. She has served as an NGO representative at the United Nations. She is a member of the Committee of Honour of the Royal Academy of Music, Trustee of the Garden Museum, Council Member of the Royal College of Art, Board member of the Tate Foundation 2006 and of the Wallace Collection International Council. She is a former Chairman of the Tate Patrons of New Art and Vice-Chairman of the Tate International Council (1996–2001).
She has been on several judging panels including the Turner Prize (1988), the Arts & Business Awards (2000-2002), the Manser Medal Jury (2012) and the RIBA Honours Committee (2017) and she retired as Vice Chair of Board of New Contemporaries in 2016. She gave a large collection of contemporary costume to the Victoria and Albert Museum, displayed in the One Woman’s Wardrobe exhibition (1998–99). Jill was Executive Producer of Normal Conservative Rebels: Gilbert & George in China directed by David Zilkha, which received a gold medal at the Chicago Film Festival and was shown at the Edinburgh Film Festival (1996), Tate Britain (1997) and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1997–8). In 2012, Lady Ritblat gave a gift of contemporary dress to the Design Museum through the Art Fund, marking the museum’s first significant fashion acquisition.
Lady Ritblat was made an OBE in 2017.
Charles Rifkind qualified as a barrister in 1980 and has since been working in business with development at the forefront. Acting as Rifkind Associates, Charles has been Principal and Partner to Lord’s Cricket Ground/MCC for over 20 years. Creator of the Vision for Lords, Charles was part of the panel who selected architects Herzog & De Meuron for The Master Plan in The Architectural Competition. Charles is also responsible for the development of 430 apartments at Carlton Gate, London. Charles has now commenced the development of 500 new homes within five spa villages, known as Matlock Spa.
A former trustee of the Tate Corporate Advisory Group and Arnold House School, Charles served on the Board of Trustees of the Design Museum for eight years and stepped down to further other causes, most noticeably the Visitors’ Art Foundation and to increase awareness of diabetes. Described as a ‘friend of London’, Charles has also supported the Royal Parks, initiating the sponsorship of 100 cherry trees. He initiated Debate Mate’s Platinum 100 Club and has been actively involved in the Duke of Edinburgh International Awards. Charles has raised more than £1,250,000 for the Wellington Appeal to support the British Red Cross and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Rolf Sachs first studied business administration in London and San Francisco and for the past 20 years has focused on furniture design. Rolf is now a well-known designer and artist, recognised for his distinctive approach. He has had a number of single and group exhibitions in the USA, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Austria and the UK. Rolf’s pieces are inspired by the world of fine arts, rather than the decorative ones, distancing himself from the design excesses of recent years and avoiding superfluous embellishment. The conceptual, not the decorative aspects are all important to him.
John Hegarty started in advertising as a junior Art Director at Benton and Bowles, London in 1965. In 1967, he joined the Cramer Saatchi consultancy, which became Saatchi & Saatchi in 1970, where he was a founding shareholder. A year later, he was appointed Deputy Creative Director. John left in 1973 to co-found TBWA, London as Creative Director. The agency was the first to be voted Campaign magazine's Agency of the Year in 1980.
In 1982, John left to start Bartle Bogle Hegarty. Four years later, BBH was voted Campaign's Agency of the Year and won the title again in 1993, 2003, 2004 and 2005. BBH Worldwide was voted Campaign magazine’s first ever Network of the Year in 2004. BBH was also voted Cannes advertising agency of the year two years running.
John’s industry awards include two D&AD Golds and six Silvers, Cannes Golds and Silvers and British Television Gold and Silvers. He was awarded the D&AD President's Award for outstanding achievement in the advertising industry. In May 2005, the International Clio Awards awarded John with the Life Time Achievement award for his outstanding achievement in the industry. In 2007, John received a knighthood in the Queen’s birthday honours' list. John was also inducted to the New York’s One Club Hall of Fame in 2005.
Anya Hindmarch started her business in 1987, at the age of 19, following her passion for accessories and design. The Anya Hindmarch brand has grown from Anya’s first store on London’s Walton Street, to 57 stores globally including flagships in London and Tokyo and a Bespoke store on London’s Pont Street which launched in 2009.
The Anya Hindmarch brand is synonymous with beautiful craftsmanship, understated branding and exceptional quality. Bespoke personalised pieces, Britishness and an element of humour epitomize the Anya Hindmarch DNA.
Anya Hindmarch was awarded a CBE in recognition for her contribution to the British fashion industry as well as further responsibilities including; UK Trade Ambassador, non-executive director of the British Fashion Council and trustee of both the Design Museum and The Royal Academy. She was awarded the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award in 2012.