News story

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport makes Arts Council England appointments

New Arts Council England Area Chair and General Council Member appointments and reappointments


The Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP has appointed the following General Council Members to Arts Council England: Michael Eakin (for a term of 4 years, commencing on 1 April 2018); Catherine Mallyon (for a term of 4 years, commencing on 26 April 2018); Andrew Miller, George Mpanga, and Elisabeth Murdoch (for terms of 4 years, commencing on 1 December 2017); Paul Roberts OBE and Tessa Ross (for terms of 3 years, commencing on 1 December 2017.)

The Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP has also appointed the following Area Chairs to Arts Council England (for terms of 4 years, commencing on 1 December 2017): Sukhy Johal MBE as Midlands Area Chair; Kate Willard as North Area Chair; and Professor Roni Brown as South East Area Chair.

David Joseph CBE has been reappointed for a term of 3 years commencing on 1 November 2017.

Rosemary Squire has been appointed as South West Area Chair by exception for a term of 1 year commencing on 5 December 2017.


Michael Eakin has been Chief Executive of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic since 2008. The organisation includes the award-winning Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and associated ensembles and choirs, a substantial music learning and education programme, and Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

Michael joined Liverpool Philharmonic from Arts Council England, with whom he had been Executive Director North West since 2001. Previously, he was Director of Arts and Leisure for Reading Borough Council, with a portfolio including the arts and theatre, libraries, museums and archives, sport and leisure, and tourism.

His initial career was in theatre and concert hall management, including several years as Director of the presenting theatre and concert hall, The Hexagon, Reading. Here he programmed across several artforms including orchestral and popular music, theatre, opera, and dance. He also led the establishment in Reading of the UK’s major annual world music festival, the WOMAD Festival, in partnership with the WOMAD organisation; and the renovation and re-opening of the 19th Century Reading Concert Hall.

He is a former Chair of the Association of British Orchestras and a former Vice President of the Theatrical Management Association (now UK Theatre).


Catherine Mallyon has been Executive Director, a Governor and a Board member of the Royal Shakespeare Company since 2012. Catherine sits on the Board of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership and is Chair of their Culture and Tourism Business Group. She is on the Board of the Society of London Theatre and is a Council Member of the Creative Industries Federation and of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Catherine was previously Deputy Chief Executive of Southbank Centre, leading all Southbank Centre operational activity, including the reopening Royal Festival Hall after refurbishment in 2007 and the renewal of Hayward Gallery in 2010.

In her earlier career in arts management, Catherine was General Manager of Arts and Theatres at Reading Borough Council. There she managed all theatre and arts operations, programmed drama and classical music for the Hexagon and Concert Hall and co-produced the WOMAD festival. Prior to that, she was General Manager at the Oxford Playhouse.

Having spent five years working in the City of London as a trader and analyst, Catherine trained in general arts administration on Arts Council England’s bursary programme. She plays violin with the Oxford Sinfonia.


Andrew Miller is an arts producer, programmer & strategist. He began his career in broadcasting in the 1980s as the first disabled presenter of mainstream British television and went on to become a producer and director of arts & music documentaries. Andrew then joined Arts Council England in Birmingham as Music Officer and Head of Performing Arts. He went on to become the first Head of Creative Programming at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama where he established a new and highly successful city centre arts complex in Cardiff promoting classical & contemporary music, opera and theatre.

Andrew is a Council Member of the Arts Council of Wales and serves on the board of UK digital arts agency, The Space and has written extensively on disability in the arts. He is currently Executive Associate at Royal & Derngate Theatres Northampton and The Core at Corby Cube, a role created for him as one of Arts Council England’s first cohort of Changemakers. Andrew is also the Executive Producer of The Russia’17 Season in Wales, a cultural festival marking the Centenary of the Russian Revolution featuring the national arts companies of Wales.


George (the Poet) Mpanga George is a London-born spoken word performer of Ugandan heritage. He has a background in Political Science, having studied Politics, Psychology and Sociology at King’s College, Cambridge (2010-2013). Since graduating in 2013 his career has spanned entertainment, literature, advocacy, communications and corporate engagement.

George won a social enterprise competition organised by Barclays and Channel 4 called The Stake, which asked entrants how they would spend £100,000. He used his £16,000 prize to fund The Jubilee Line, a series of secondary school poetry workshops for underprivileged children in London. He has performed at the Commonwealth Service (2017) and Rugby World Cup (2015). In 2014 he was shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice category at the 2015 BRIT Awards.


Elisabeth is the Founder and Chair of Freelands Group, comprising Freelands Ventures, a media and technology investment fund and Freelands Foundation, which supports visual arts and cultural programmes. Elisabeth is also the Founder and Chair of both Locksmith Animation Ltd and Vertical Networks.

Elisabeth was the founder and former Chair of Shine Group, which grew to become one of the leading content production companies internationally over her 14 year tenure. Prior to founding Shine, Elisabeth was the Managing Director of Sky Networks, the programming and marketing division of BSkyB plc. Elisabeth began her career in television at the Nine Network in Australia, later joining Fox Television in Los Angeles as Programme and Promotion Manager for seven stations and then went to the FX Cable Network as Director of Acquisitions.

In 1995, Elisabeth started her own company, EP Communications, managing two dominant NBC affiliate stations which won one national and five Californian Emmy Awards as well as the 1995 Peabody Award for Broadcast Excellence.

Elisabeth was a Tate Trustee between 2008 to 2016, and Chairman of the Tate Modern Advisory Council from 2009 to 2016.


After a career involving Director of Education posts in Nottingham and London and the post of Managing Director of the Improvement and Development Agency for Local Government, Paul is now Chair of the Board of directors for the Innovation Unit, vice-Chair at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and at Nottingham Contemporary. He is a member of the Durham Commission on Creativity and Education as well as of the ABRSM Music Commission. Paul produced the government report “Nurturing Creativity in Young People” in 2008 and his recent writing includes joint authorship of “The Virtuous Circle – why creativity and cultural education count.”

Other work has included being Chair of the Nottingham Music Education Hub, a range of committee work with NESTA, a member of the Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value and of the Ministerial Cultural Education Board. Paul is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, was awarded an OBE in 2008 for services to Education and the Creative Industries and appointed to the National Council of Arts Council England in December 2017.


Tessa Ross is CEO of House Productions, the film and television production company that she recently launched with her business partner Juliette Howell.

She was previously Controller of Film and Drama at Channel 4, during which time Film4 worked with the most innovative talent in the UK and built a reputation for developing and financing some of the most acclaimed British films of recent years. These include Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, Kevin Macdonald’s The Last King of Scotland, Chris Morris’ Four Lions, Shane Meadows’ This is England, Steve McQueen’s Hunger, Shame, and 12 Years A Slave, Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges, Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin, Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank and Room, Todd Haynes’ Carol, Alex Garland’s Ex Machina.

Her work in television includes commissioning programmes such as Shameless, Sex Traffic, The Devil’s Whore, Longford, White Teeth, Clocking Off.

Tessa has been a governor at the NFTS, a governor of the BFI and a member of the ICA Council. She was on the Board of the National Theatre and appointed as its first CEO. Tessa was one of eight film industry representatives on the panel of the 2012 Film Policy Review, chaired by Chris Smith. She was appointed CBE in the New Year 2010 Honours List and was awarded a BAFTA for Outstanding British Contribution to Film in 2013.


Sukhy has over 25 years of experience across the Midlands region in a range of senior roles, with a strong affinity and understanding of the cultural ecology and the wider regional development agenda. He has breadth of knowledge across the cultural sector, affording him a grounded, holistic and strategic understanding of today’s dynamic and challenging environment.

He has a depth of experience in local government across the full spectrum of cultural services and economic development, having developed both cultural and economic strategies and plans. He is adept at applying his skills forging strategic relationships across different sectors, and with his enterprising mind-set enables him to effect real change as well reframe ambition he has extensive experience with founding partnerships, organisations, policy and generating substantive funds from investors.

As CEO, of Culture East Midlands, the regions Cultural Consortium, Sukhy supported the development of the sector and established large scale transformative projects like ‘Igniting Ambition’ the Regions Cultural Olympiad programme and devising Regional Policy.

He is currently the Director of The Centre for Culture and Creativity, at the University of Lincoln, and therefore recognizes the growing importance of culture across the Higher Education sector; in terms of research and innovation, as well as their increasingly visible civic leadership role coupled with their primary function in developing the next generation of cultural and creative talent.

Sukhy started his career as a volunteer with Apna Arts at the age of 16, and steered the organisations transformation in becoming the New Art Exchange. He continues to advocate and champion the social and catalytic power of culture, with a particular interest in supporting culturally diversity and social enterprise.


Kate is Head of Corporate Projects with Stobart Group. With a background in cultural and creativity, Kate has lived and worked in Hungary, France and Belgium working as an independent regeneration expert with the European Commission on major transnational projects in employment, social cohesion and regional development. Whilst living and working in Hungary, Kate also established the first UK Hungarian cultural partnership trust, Brouhaha Magyarország and was also CEO of the UK’s first rural regeneration company, Rural Regeneration Cumbria. Kate Chairs Atlantic Gateway and Opportunity South Essex, is a Trustee of Liverpool Playhouse and Everyman Theatres, a Churchill Fellow and FRSA.


Roni is Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) where she is Professor of Visual and Educational Cultures.

Roni’s role at UCA, that has campuses at Farnham, Epsom, Rochester and Canterbury is to lead the Academic Schools, Research, Teaching and Learning and Quality Assurance.

Roni has worked in Higher Education for over 25 years holding senior positions at the University of Chichester, University of the Arts London and UCA. She has a PhD in the History of Architecture and Design and has work published in the fields of design history, pedagogy and quality assurance in art and design. Her recent chapter Teaching Quality in Art, Design and Media: Tacit Knowledge and Experience will be published by Routledge in Spring 2018.

Roni is Chair of the South East Area Council and a member of the National Council of the Arts Council England. She is a Trustee of the Open College of the Arts and Deputy Chair of Artswork, the South East Bridge Organisation of Arts Council England. Roni is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts.


David Joseph joined Universal Music in 1998 as general manager of the company’s Polydor label before moving up in 2002 to become managing director and later co-President of Polydor. In March 2008, he was promoted to Chairman and CEO of Universal Music UK. Universal Music UK includes the labels Capitol, Decca, Island and Virgin EMI as well as Polydor, alongside the world’s most famous recording studios, Abbey Road.

Universal Music UK is home to successful artists from across the musical spectrum including The Rolling Stones, U2, Take That, Florence + The Machine, Mumford & Sons, Sam Smith, Emeli Sande, Giggs, Elton John, Ellie Goulding and Nicola Benedetti. It also releases the music of global superstars such as Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Kanye West, Drake, Eminem and Rihanna as well as repertoire from Decca, the number one classical label in the world. Prior to joining Universal Music in 1998, Joseph was at RCA where he was head of artist development working with artists including Take That, Kylie Minogue and Annie Lennox.

In 2005 Joseph became a member of the BPI Council and for three years was Chairman of the BRITs Committee, which oversees the BRIT Awards. He worked with Doreen Lawrence on Unity, the O2 concert in September 2013 marking the 20th anniversary of Stephen Lawrence’s murder and is executive producer of Amy, the Bafta and Oscar-winning documentary about the late singer Amy Winehouse directed by Asif Kapadia. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to the music industry. He holds no other public appointments.


Rosemary Squire OBE is one of the most prominent women in British theatre of the modern era. Co-founding ATG in 1992, it has gone onto become the world’s number one live-theatre company.

Last year, Squire stepped down from her post as CEO to move into a new creative phase. Trafalgar Entertainment Group will own and operate theatre buildings, developing a boutique brand as well as producing diverse, high quality, distinctive live work.

In 2014, she made history as the first woman to be named EY UK Entrepreneur of the Year. She is a National Member of the Arts Council England Board and Joint Chair of The Hall for Cornwall. As Chair of Great Ormond Street’s Theatres for Theatres Appeal she raised over £5m and now Chairs another major appeal for the hospital.

Widely respected in the industry, Rosemary and her husband/business partner, Sir Howard Panter, have topped The Stage 100 for seven consecutive record-breaking years. Rosemary was awarded an OBE for Services to Theatre, has an Honorary Doctorate from Southampton University and was recently awarded an Honorary Doctor of Arts by both De Montfort University and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in recognition of her achievements as a theatre entrepreneur.

Council Members

Council Members of Arts Council England are not remunerated. Area Chairs of Arts Council England are remunerated at £6,400 per annum.

These 10 appointments and 1 reappointment have been made in accordance with the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments.

Rosemary Squire’s appointment has been made by exception under the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments to ensure South West Area Council has consistent leadership so it is steered and guided as effectively as its other area counterparts. The appointments process is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. Rosemary Squire was initially appointed as a Council Member of Arts Council England for a period of 4 years, from 26 April 2013. This was extended from 26 April 2017 for a period of 12 months, however this will be superseded by her appointment by exception as South West Area Chair.

It is a requirement of the Code that political activity by those appointed is declared. Michael Eakin, Catherine Mallyon, Andrew Miller, George Mpanga, Elisabeth Murdoch, Paul Roberts OBE, Tessa Ross, Sukhy Johal MBE, Roni Brown, David Joseph CBE, and Rosemary Squire OBE have declared that they have not carried out any political activity. Kate Willard has declared that she has canvassed on behalf of the Labour Party in the past.

Published 5 December 2017