About the NMDC
The National Museum Directors' Council represents the leaders of the UK's national collections and major regional museums. Our members are the national and major regional museums in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the British Library, the National Library of Scotland, and the National Archives. While our members are funded by government, the NMDC is an independent, non-governmental organisation.
The NMDC was founded in 1929, in anticipation of a Royal Commission recommendation that the national collections should 'coordinate their work and discuss matters of mutual concern'. Today the NMDC provides its membership with a valuable forum for discussion and debate and an opportunity to share information and work collaboratively.
The NMDC is funded by its membership institutions, the directors of which give their time voluntarily to the organisation.
NMDC’s vision is that all relevant policy makers and opinion formers understand the full value of museums and their collections, and ensure they are adequately funded and intelligently supported to enable optimum contribution to society and maximum public value.
NMDC’s purpose is:
- To act as an advocate on behalf of NMDC members and their collective priorities;
- To act as a voice for NMDC members to Government and other strategic bodies;
- To be proactive in setting and leading the museums and cultural policy agendas;
- To gather, interpret, present and share data and evidence of members’ activity;
- To undertake horizon-scanning and facilitate discussion on issues affecting UK museums;
- To provide a forum for members to discuss issues of common concern and provide opportunities for advice, support and collaboration and for sharing good practice, information and benchmarking.
These priorities apply to NMDC’s work on behalf of its members. Partnerships and relationships between NMDC and other bodies with responsibility for museums are crucial, and NMDC is committed to collaborating with these bodies, supporting them in their work and avoiding duplication of effort.
The current Chair of the NMDC is Diane Lees, Director-General of Imperial War Museums. As well as chairing NMDC Directors’ and Executive Committee meetings the NMDC Chair shapes and steers NMDC strategy and advocacy, takes a lead in relations with Government and other key stakeholders and acts as spokesperson for the NMDC.
NMDC Executive Committee
The NMDC Executive Committee meets three times a year in advance of wider NMDC meetings to discuss NMDC issues and priorities and to agree proposals to go to the wider group. Current Executive Committee members are:
- Diane Lees, Director-General of Imperial War Museums (Chair)
- Dr. Michael Dixon, Director of the Natural History Museum
- Julie Finch, Director, Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery
- John Leighton, Director of National Galleries Scotland
- Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum
- Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery
- Dr. Nicholas Penny, Director of the National Gallery
- Iain Watson, Director, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
NMDC Staff Team
A team of three staff manages NMDC's activity:
- Suzie Tucker, Head of Strategy and Delivery
- Katie Childs, Policy and Projects Manager
- Christine Toogood, Administrator