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Our Board of Trustees

Stuart Fletcher - Interim Chair

Stuart Fletcher was, until April 2016, Chief Executive Officer of Bupa, a role he held since March 2012.

Before joining Bupa, Stuart spent 26 years in leadership positions with Diageo Plc. He was President of Diageo International between 2004 – 2011, having been President of Key Markets from 2000 – 2004.

Stuart held a number of other senior general management and finance positions with Diageo including roles based in Japan, USA and Hong Kong.

Stuart is Chair of isoshealth, a Non-Executive Director of Huma Therapeutics Ltd and Radar Software and is a member of a number of Advisory Boards. He is also a Trustee of two other charities, Pancreatic Cancer UK and United World Schools.

Andrew Haigh

Andrew is a freelance adviser supporting entrepreneurs. He was previously an Executive Director at Coutts, one of the UK’s leading wealth managers building customer propositions with a focus on successful entrepreneurs.

He began his career as an investment banker in both London and New York before moving to be finance director of NatWest’s International Businesses Division in 1993, followed by roles in the offshore islands running retail and private banking businesses.  He returned to New York in 1999 for 2 years to act as country head for the NatWest Group’s US businesses.  He has spent 2 years in China helping create the first domestic private bank in the country.

His external interests are around the arts and education including board memberships of the Royal College of Music and the Chisenhale Gallery.

Diane Howse

Diane Howse is an artist with wide-ranging curatorial experience who has made a significant contribution to the arts in Yorkshire.

In 1989 she founded the Harewood Contemporary and opened the Terrace Gallery at Harewood House, the first such commitment to promoting contemporary art to be established in the heritage sector. She continues an involvement in developing the programme of exhibitions and projects in the House and grounds.

In 2005 she curated and produced Appearance – a large scale pop-up exhibition in Leeds city centre. This led to her co-founding PSL [Project Space Leeds] and presenting an ongoing programme in this same space until 2012 when PSL moved to its new home The Tetley.

In 2012 she was a founder of the Geraldine Connor Foundation, a charity continuing the legacy of the inspirational ethnomusicologist and theatre creator, Geraldine Connor. The charity works to support artists and create opportunities across all art forms for those who might otherwise not have access to them.  She continues in her role of Chair of the organisation.

She has been a trustee of Harewood House Trust since 1990 and is also a Patron of SI Leeds Literary Prize and President of the Yorkshire Gardens Trust amongst other roles.

Priya Khanchandani

Priya Khanchandani is a writer, curator and commentator. She is the incoming Head of Curatorial and Interpretation at the Design Museum. As an independent writer, she contributes to publications such as Frieze, The Observer and the Sunday Times. For the past two years, Priya has been the Editor of design and architecture magazine Icon, for which she is shortlisted for the 2020 Fiona Macpherson New Editor of the Year award.

Priya grew up in Luton and studied Modern Languages at Cambridge University before embarking on a postgraduate law degree and beginning her career as a solicitor at magic circle firm Clifford Chance. Her interests then led her to undertake a two-year MA in the History of Design at the Royal College of Art, in which she gained a Distinction and the annual Dissertation Prize. She started her arts career working at the Victoria and Albert Museum and then at the British Council, as Head of Arts Programmes for India.

Priya was a Trustee of Chisenhale Gallery for five years and is currently a Trustee of the national board for gallery education Engage. She is a Founding Member of the pro-diversity collective Museum Detox.

Merran McRae

Merran McRae took over as Chief Executive of Wakefield Council in June 2017.

She was previously the Chief Executive of Calderdale Council. She holds the role of lead Chief Executive for skills across West Yorkshire and is a member of the Leeds City Region LEP’s Employment and Skills Board. She is also the lead Chief Executive and LGA link for health and social care for Yorkshire & Humberside and a spokesperson on Children’s Services for SOLACE.

Merran has had a professional background in housing management, community economic development and social care, holding positions as Chief Executive at a Housing ALMO and Director of Adult Social Care within a Local Authority. She has also led other strategic services, including culture and leisure services, as well as organisational development and change programmes. Merran has a particular interest in digital innovation and the use of data and sits on the Geospatial Information Customer Group, a BEIS advisory group covering the use of the Public Sector Mapping Agreement. She is also a trustee of the Yorkshire Sports Foundation.

Jane Madeley

Jane Madeley joined the University of Leeds as Finance Director in 2009. She has responsibility for the finance, IT, strategy and planning and purchasing functions across the University.

Jane graduated in History and Economics from York University in 1989. Since qualifying as a chartered accountant, Jane has held senior finance positions in businesses in the retail and fast moving consumer goods sectors, including Asda Walmart and the Campbell Soup Company.

Prior to joining the University Jane was the Chief Financial Officer and IT Director for Redcats UK, the UK mail order division of the French listed PPR group (which specialises in the luxury and retail sectors).

Henry Meyric Hughes

Henry Meyric Hughes is a freelance curator, editor and writer on art. He is Honorary President of AICA, in Paris, Chair of the International Awards for Art Criticism in London and Shanghai, a member of the Scientific and Cultural Advisory Council of the Archives de la critique d’art and member of the editorial board of the journal, Critique d’art, in Rennes. He is also a board member of Matt’s Gallery, London. His main subject areas are British art in the twentieth century and modern and contemporary art since 1945.

From 1968 to 1992 Henry worked on cultural exchanges for the British Council in Germany, Peru, France and Italy, and as Director, in turn, of Visiting Arts and the Visual Arts Department, in London. From 1992 to 1996 he was Director of the Hayward Gallery, London, before embarking on an independent career. He has been a frequent curator and commissioner at the Venice Biennale and São Paulo Bienal and (co-)curated numerous national and international exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. He was co-founder, then founding President of the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, Manifesta (1993-2008). He has been Special Adviser for Council of Europe Exhibitions (2007-14) and an adviser to UNESCO.

He has been decorated by the French and German governments.

Dame Magdalene Odundo

Dame Magdalene Odundo is one of the world’s most esteemed ceramic artists and Chancellor of the University for the Creative Arts, Kent & Surrey.

Odundo was born in Nairobi, Kenya and moved to the UK in  1971 where she studied at Farnham College and the Royal College of Art, London.  Odundo has spent 40  years in education as a maker, researcher, research supervisor, visiting lecturer and external examiner to various national and international universities. She has been a mentor to young aspiring artists,  encouraging many, especially from Africa, to take up ceramics as a profession.

Magdalene Odundo was awarded the African Art Recognition Award by Detroit Institute of Arts in 2008; the African Heritage Outstanding Achievement in the Arts, Nairobi, Kenya in 2012; a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Ceramic Festival in 2019; and in 2020 received a DBE from the Queen for her contribution to Art and Arts Education. Odundo has Honorary Doctorates from the University of Florida, Gainesville and University of Arts London. Odundo is Patron & Trustee of the National Society for Education of Art & Design (NSEAD) UK, is a Trustee of the Watts Gallery in Surrey and is a member of the National Museums of Kenya Nairobi’s Contemporary Art Gallery project.

Magdalene Odundo’s work is represented in public and private collections around the world, including Wakefield’s art collection. In 2019 The Hepworth Wakefield presented Odundo’s first major retrospective exhibition in a UK public museum.