The museum is a charity governed by a board of 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, Enterprise, External Affairs, Finance, Learning and Nominations 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 in 2015, Asif Khan founded his architecture office in 2007. Born in London to parents from Tanzanian and Pakistani backgrounds, he studied at the Architectural Association and Bartlett School of Architecture. His current portfolio of projects includes the New Museum of London, which is the largest cultural project in Europe, the carbon-fibre Entry Portals at Dubai Expo 2020, and over 6km of Expo 2020 Public Realm design. Also currently under construction are a Museum of Manuscripts in Sharjah and the Tselinny Centre of Contemporary Culture in Almaty which will open in 2022. Well-known works include the UK Pavilion at Astana Expo in 2017 in collaboration with Musician Brian Eno and the Hyundai Pavilion at PyeongChang Winter Olympics in 2018.
Asif was a Designer in Residence in 2010 at the Design Museum and was awarded Designer of the Future at Design Miami in 2011. He won a Grand Prix for Innovation at Cannes Lion in 2014 and was awarded Architect of the Year in 2018 by the German Design Council.
Asif received an MBE for services to Architecture in 2017.
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.
John Pfeffer is co-founder of Pfeffer Capital LP, an investment adviser to affiliates of his and his wife María’s family investment holdings.
Pfeffer Capital aims to found and build one sizeable operating business every few years, most recently the fast-growing European discount retail concept PrimaPrix. Pfeffer Capital also invests globally in private and public equity and early-to growth-stage venture capital.
John is author of the widely read paper, “An (Institutional) Investor’s Take on Cryptoassets” and an active supporter of Bitcoin open-source development. He is also a Senior Adviser to Brazilian special situations fund manager Prisma Capital Ltda.
In the 2000s, John was a partner with private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and in the 1990s, he was Chairman of the Executive Board of leading French systems integrator Groupe Allium S.A. Before that, he advised on turnarounds while with McKinsey in Europe and Latin America.
The Pfeffer Family Foundation focuses on access to education.
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.
Michelle Ogundehin is internationally renowned as a thought-leader on interiors, wellbeing, design and style. Dubbed the 'interiors guru' by The Sunday Times, she defines herself as a writer/author/brand consultant who also does TV. She is the Head Judge on BBC2s Interior Design Masters, as well as annually presenting alongside Kevin McCloud on Grand Designs: House of the Year. She is a Contributing Editor to both The Financial Times How to Spend It magazine and the influential online architecture, interiors and design magazine Dezeen.
Originally trained as an architect at London's celebrated Bartlett School, she spent several years in the US after graduation honing her take on 'design'. She launched her publishing career on Tate Art magazine, followed by Blueprint, before enjoying a multi award-winning 13-year tenure as Editor-in-Chief of British ELLE Decoration. During this editorship, she led the title to its highest circulation, achieved record revenues, and was instrumental in changing the law with respect to UK copyright for objects of design through her Fight the Fakes campaign.
An experienced writer and communicator, Michelle was a Trustee of the V&A for 8 years and was appointed an Ambassador for Diversity by the Government in 2009. She has served on many industry and educational juries and advisory panels and her stated mission is to spread awareness that your environment is as fundamental to your wellbeing as nutrition and exercise.
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.
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, Chairman of Fidelity China Special Situations plc and Chairman of Conran Holdings Ltd. He was a member of Council of the University of Exeter from 2009-2018 and is currently a trustee of the Creative Education Trust, a multi-academy trust.
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.
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.
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 February 2016. In her executive career, Wendy led consumer-related organisations, creating strategies and driving change. She spent 15 years 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 Chairperson of Logitech, a Non-Executive Director of Sony Corporation, Great Portland Estates and Oxford University Press. She also sits on the Board of the Said Business School at the University of Oxford.
She holds an BA in Economics from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.
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.
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.
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.
Luqman Arnold was Chairman of the Design Museum from 2005 to 2017 when he handed over to Lord Mandelson following the opening of the new Design Museum. His clear vision shared by the founder, trustees and director was to make it the world’s leading museum of contemporary design and architecture. His interest in design was reinforced by work undertaken during the turnaround of Abbey National, with Brian Boylan, Robert Jones, Sir David Adjaye, Erica Bolton, Trevor Beattie and Neil Dawson. Design and architecture contributed to the bank’s transformation and deepened his understanding of their importance. Prior to his appointment as Chairman of the Design Museum, Luqman served as a trustee of the Architecture Foundation and as a member of the Development Committee of the University of the Arts.
Luqman has held leadership roles in a number of financial institutions including: President and Chairman of the Group Executive Board of UBS AG, CEO of Abbey National PLC, Chair of Olivant, member of the Executive Committee and Board of Banque Paribas and Head of Investment Banking at Credit Suisse First Boston. Luqman remains a passionate supporter of and ambassador for the Museum as a Trustee Emeritus, a role he accepted in 2019.
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.
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.
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.