News story

Culture Secretary Extends Term of Chair of VisitBritain Board

Culture Secretary John Whittingdale has extended Christopher Rodrigues’ term of appointment by three months, from 1 January 2017 to 31 March 2017.


Christopher Rodrigues became Chairman of VisitBritain on the 1st January 2007. In August 2013 he became Chairman of the British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association, in January 2014 became Chairman of Openwork Holdings Ltd and in January 2016 he became Chairman of the Port of London Authority. At the end of May 2016 he will take up the role of Chairman of the British Council.

He is pro-bono Chairman of The Almeida Theatre, on the Council, and a Trustee, of the National Trust and is a Vice Chairman of the World Travel and Tourism Council.

His previous career includes terms as President and CEO of Visa International; Group Chief Executive of Bradford and Bingley, Group Chief Executive at Thomas Cook and various senior positions at American Express. He stepped down as Chairman of International Personal Finance, and Windsor Leadership at the end of April 2015, following a period of 8 years as Chairman of both organisations. He was a NED at Ladbrokes plc (formerly Hilton Group) from 2003 until 1st May 2013, was a founder NED of the Financial Services Authority (1997-2003) and spent the early part of his career at McKinsey and Co.

Christopher is a graduate of Cambridge University and the Harvard Business School. He rowed for Cambridge in the 1970 and 1971 Boat Races, is a past-Chairman of Leander Club and is a Steward of Henley Royal Regatta.

He was made Visiting Professor at the University of Surrey in 2009 and a Visiting Professor at Cranfield School of Management in 2010. He was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University of Surrey (DUniv) in April 2013.

Christopher was made a Commander of the British Empire in the 2007 New Year Honours list for services to British business interests and charitable works in the UK and USA.

In accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for defined political activity in the last five years to be made public. Christopher Rodrigues has declared no such political activity.

Published 17 May 2016