Current members

John Newbigin

John Newbigin - Chair

John Newbigin is Mayor of London’s Ambassador for Creative Industries and former Chair of Creative England. As Special Advisor to the Minister for Culture, Rt Hon Chris Smith MP, he was closely involved in developing the government’s first policies for the creative industries. Previous posts include Head of Corporate Relations for Channel 4, policy advisor to the Leader of the UK Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition, Rt Hon Neil Kinnock, MP and writer-in-residence for Common Stock Theatre.

Marie Brennan

Marie Brennan

Marie Brennan leads master's courses at Norwich University of the Arts. She ran Glasshouse, a creative consultancy, where she was involved in music, street theatre and circus. Marie has a strong background in developing national policy in craft and design, disability arts, heritage and public art. She has worked as a culture expert for the European Union, evaluating Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) applications across the continent.

Simon Groom

Simon Groom

Simon is the Director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. He previously worked at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge before becoming Head of Exhibitions at Tate Liverpool. He has played an active role in many institutions, including Governor of Glasgow School of Art, Board member of the Young People’s Committee, Royal Society of Edinburgh, Member of the National Cultural Diplomacy Group at the British Council, and is on the Advisory Board of Art UK.

Angela Chan

Angela Chan is a diversity consultant and academic specialising in inclusive innovation. She has worked in the UK television industry for over 20 years, most recently as Head of Creative Diversity and Special Projects at Channel 4. 

Angela is currently Head of Inclusion at StoryFutures, an immersive storytelling centre based at Royal Holloway University. She serves as an advisor for the Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity.

Emma Dabiri

Emma Dabiri’s work spans academia, media, and the arts. She is an internationally bestselling author of two books; What White People Can Do Next and Don’t Touch My Hair. Emma is a research associate at SOAS and a final year PhD researcher in Visual Sociology at Goldsmiths University. She has been published widely, and has presented numerous documentaries. Emma sits on various boards including the Wellcome Trust Anti-Racism Expert Advisory Group and is a Trustee of Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin.

Kerry Kyriacos Michael MBE

Kerry is a British Cypriot. He leads Kyriacos And Company, a production company making TV, Film, and Theatre. He’s chair of MENA Arts UK, which empowers talent connected to the Middle East, North Africa and surrounding area. He was Artistic Director & CEO of Theatre Royal Stratford East for 13 years, forging new work from diverse voices and winning 2 Olivier awards. He was Artistic Director of The Year in 2018, awarded the Freedom of the City of London and made an MBE for services to the Arts.

Kirsty Lang

Kirsty Lang is a journalist and broadcaster with a special interest in foreign affairs and the Arts. She spent many years as a foreign correspondent reporting for the BBC and the Sunday Times from Eastern Europe and later Paris. She’s been a presenter on Channel 4 News, BBC World, and Radio 4s Front Row. She was also a visiting Professor in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York. 

Nabil Nayal

Dr Nabil El-Nayal is a Syrian-born British fashion designer and educator. Nabil is also the creative director of NABIL NAYAL, a luxury womenswear Ready-to-Wear brand, which showcases during London and Paris Fashion Weeks. Alongside his design practice, Nabil also leads the MA Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear course at the London College of Fashion. Nabil’s current research explores his Syrian heritage, allowing him to explore the rich culture of Aleppo. 

Philip Long

Philip Long OBE

Philip Long OBE FRSE is Chief Executive of the National Trust for Scotland. Previously founding director of V&A Dundee and a senior curator at National Galleries of Scotland, he has written extensively about 20th century British, especially Scottish, art and design. He curated Scotland’s national representation at the Venice Art Biennale in 2007. He is an Honorary Professor of the University of Dundee, an Honorary Research Fellow of St Andrews University, and a Board Member of Creative Scotland.

Rafi Gokay-Wol

Rafi Gokay Wol is Director at the arts and talent management company HarrisonParrott where he heads the international projects and tours department. He has led a wide array of cultural exchanges and strategic partnerships in over 60 countries, promoting, developing and generating opportunities for creative talents, arts institutions and digital collaborations. Rafi is a Member of the DCMS UK-China Advisory Group and former Trustee of the National Foundation for Youth Music.