Department for Culture Media and Sport

british museum trustees

The British Museum would like to invite applications for up to four Trustees to fill current vacancies and those that will arise over the next six months. The Board is looking in particular for individuals who can either help raise significant funding for the Museum, or who are active in the media, arts, culture or heritage.   

Role Description
The British Museum was founded by Parliament in 1753 with the purpose of enabling citizens, of both Britain and the world, to understand the world.  

The British Museum holds the greatest collection representative of human cultural achievement, ancient and modern, in the world. The Museum is a space ‘not only for the ‘learned and curious’ but also ‘for the benefit of the general public’ – a centre of research and inquiry at all levels.  It is a forum for the expression of many different cultural perspectives and a place to increase understanding of the cultural connections and influences linking Britain and the world.

The Museum has an operating budget of approximately £55 million and employs around 1000 people.  Around six million visitors see the collection in London each year, and through an expanding programme of loans, touring exhibitions and media initiatives, the Museum has a UK and worldwide reach unprecedented in its history.

Since its foundation, the Museum has been governed by a Board of Trustees who hold a collection for study and enjoyment by current and future generations in the UK and round the world. They are responsible for ensuring that the collection is housed in safety and used for worldwide public benefit. The Trustees embody and represent the public interest within the Museum.

The British Museum Act 1963 establishes that the Trustees should be twenty-five in number. The Museum aims to draw its Trustees from as broad a range of people as possible, to ensure the Board comprises a diverse, international group, representative of the worldwide nature of the collection vested in them and their global responsibilities.

The Trustees provide vision, direction, control and accountability in fulfilling the Museum’s public purpose. They uphold the highest levels of probity, financial stewardship and corporate performance.  

For more information about the British Museum and for a list of current Trustees, please visit The Museum section of our website

Essential Criteria

All successful candidates will demonstrate:

  • An understanding of and commitment to the objectives and work of the British Museum.
  • Experience of strategic decision making or the ability to acquire it.
  • An understanding of and interest in the role of Trustees in cultural institutions.
  • A commitment to supporting fundraising activity.
  • Excellent communications and representational skills.
  • The ability to work effectively as part of a team, with experience of collective decision making at a senior level.  
  • The ability and commitment to allocate sufficient time to the role.

Desirable Criteria

Successful candidates will also need to demonstrate at least one of the following:

  • The ability to raise funds for the Museum, or provide access to potential financial supporters in the UK or overseas, and in particular the USA.
  • Experience of working at a senior level in a public-facing media role.
  • Active in the arts, culture or heritage.   
  • A wide range of international contacts. 

In making its final recommendation to the Prime Minister, the selection panel will also take account of the need to maintain Board diversity.

Time Commitment

The Board meets four times a year. Successful candidates may also serve on one or more committees or advisory groups, each meeting approximately 3 times a year.  Additional time will be required to study papers, attend events at the Museum and to represent the Museum at other functions.

Location of Meetings

Board and Committee meetings are usually held at the Museum.


The post is unpaid, but travel expenses can be claimed.

Term of Appointment

Four years.

This appointment is made by the Prime Minister on recommendation by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.  Appointments are made on merit, following a fair and transparent process and are regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

How to apply

For an application pack, please contact Cassie Brown at:

Cassie Brown
The Director’s Office
The British Museum
Great Russell Street
London WC1B 3DG / 020 7323 8241

The closing date is 12 noon on Friday 22nd February.

Interviews will be held on Wednesday 13th March.

The British Museum endorses DCMS’ statement on promoting an equal opportunities policy and welcomes applications from people regardless of gender, age, marital status, disability, religion, ethnic origin, political opinion, sexual orientation, or whether or not you have dependents. 

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