The Prime Minister has appointed John Akomfrah OBE for 5 years, and Stephen Witherford for 4 years, from 8 June 2015.
The British artist, film-maker and writer John Akomfrah OBE (born 1957) was one of the founders of the Black Audio Film Collective (BAFC), a group of artists and filmmakers active between 1982 and 1998, dedicated to examining issues of Black British identity through film and media. He made his debut as a director with Handsworth Songs, which won the Grierson Award for Best Documentary in 1987. In 1998 he co-founded Smoking Dogs Films, with Lina Gopaul and David Lawson, and has since pursued an individual and distinguished film practice. From 2001-2007 he was a Governor of the British Film Institute, and from 2004-2013 a Governor of Film London. John has received honorary doctorates from Goldsmiths, University of London; the University of the Arts, London; and Portsmouth University, from which he had originally graduated in 1982.
Stephen Witherford established Witherford Watson Mann Architects in 2001, following 10 years with Eric Parry Architects. At WWM he has been project director on Amnesty International UK’s headquarters, the Bankside Urban Forest, Arts Council England’s North West offices in Manchester, the Olympic Legacy Masterplan and Astley Castle, for which the practice won the 2013 RIBA Stirling Prize. Stephen is currently working on major projects at Clare College, Cambridge, The Courtauld Institute of Art and a new almshouse for the 21st century. Stephen studied architecture at Plymouth and the University of Cambridge, completing his diploma in 1991. He is a member of Tate Modern Council, The Mayor of London’s Design Advisory Group, and has been a Visiting Fellow in Urban Design on the London School of Economics Cities Programme, as well as lecturing and writing.
The appointments have been made in accordance with the OCPA Code of Practice. It is a requirement of the Code that political activity by those appointed is declared. Both Trustees have declared no political activity.