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Team email contacts
Head of Media: Chloe Kembery
Hayley Willis - Senior press officer
Ekene Oboko - Press officer
Education and civil society:
Alison Langley - Senior press officer
Campaigns, soft power and language learning in the UK
Peter Hawkins - Senior press officer
The list below is not exclusive. We have experts on arts, education, culture and international affairs in more than 100 countries worldwide. Contact us to discuss how we can help you.
The UK's role in the world, soft power and international relationships post-Brexit
Sir Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive
Sir Ciarán Devane took up the role of Chief Executive in January 2015. Ciarán has focused on ensuring that all stakeholders understand and value the contribution that soft power, cultural relations and the British Council makes to security, prosperity and influence, and that the organisation and staff are aligned behind that vision. Ciarán was educated at University College, Dublin where he gained first-class honours in biochemical engineering. He then started his career as an engineer and manager for Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) before becoming a management consultant, mostly with Gemini Consulting. He holds a Masters degree in International Policy and Practice from George Washington University, Washington DC.
Rebecca Walton, EU Regional Director
Rebecca has been the British Council Regional Director Europe since 2015. Since the EU referendum, Rebecca’s professional life has focused on the cultural and educational relations between the UK and the rest of the EU, working with Ministries and heads of Cultural and Educational Institutions across the EU to protect the strong links that currently exist, and advise the UK’s official departments dealing with the Brexit negotiations on the most vital elements of these close links Britain currently enjoys across Europe. Rebecca joined the British Council in 1985 and has worked extensively in Norway, Jordan, Pakistan and Russia. Her fields of expertise are international cultural policy, cultural relations and education.
Kate Arthurs, Director, Arts
Kate started as Director Arts in May 2018, leading the British Council’s global arts programme. Her previous roles at the British Council include Director Strategy, Arts, Head of Arts in Mexico, Deputy Country Director Vietnam with East Asia-wide leadership of vocational skills training, and culture and development work in South Sudan. She began her career managing Europe-wide projects at the Foreign Policy Centre and British Council Brussels on themes of diversity, inclusion, soft power and Britain’s role in Europe. She is a Director of Wasafiri magazine of international writing and speaks three languages.
The importance of learning modern foreign languages and gaining international skills for the UK economy
Vicky Gough, Schools Adviser
Mark Herbert, Global Head of Schools Programmes
Commentary on British arts and creative industries
Cortina Butler, Director, Literature
Emma Dexter, Director, Visual Arts
Cathy Graham, Director, Music
Briony Hanson, Director, Film
Sarah Mann, Director, Architecture, Design, Fashion
Neil Webb, Director, Theatre and Dance
Stabilising societies in crisis and cultural heritage protection in conflict zones
Sheelagh Stewart, Head of Societies in Crisis
Steve Stenning, Head of Culture and Development