Diane Lees CBE

Diane Lees CBE, Chair of the 2019 judging panel, has been Director General of the Imperial War Museums since October 2008. Leading on the Museums’ international programme and cultural festival for the First World War centenary. Before joining IWM Diane was Director of the V&A Museum of Childhood, at Bethnal Green.

Diane had a specific brief to transform the Museum and create a sustainable future for this east-end site; she also chaired the V&A’s UK Steering Group. Diane began her career as an historic buildings researcher moving into exhibitions, education and interpretation. Diane project-managed the creation of the UK standard for the recording of information about museum collections (SPECTRUM) and was responsible for the creation of the only museum of law in the country, the multi-award winning Galleries of Justice in Nottingham.

Diane is a Trustee of: IWM Development Trust, The Gerry Holdsworth Special Forces Trust, Army Museums Ogilby Trust and a Vice President of the American Air Museum in Britain. Diane is also a key member of South Bank and Bankside Cultural Quarter Directors forum, Women Leaders in Museums Network (WLMN) and the Arts Council’s external advice panel. Diane has recently been elected as Chair of National Museum Directors’ Council (NMDC) from April 2013.

These range from remarkable achievements of national institutions to projects crafted with limited resources and those championing their staff and volunteers who work hard to deliver inspiring visitor experiences.

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