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Diane Lees CBE

Distinguished Lecture Series - In a changing world, what is a museum for?

photo of Dianne Lees OBE
Public lectures | Seminars

Over the last 40 years, museums have changed with the fashion, but with multiple channels of competition, how do museums respond to ever increasing uncertainty and challenge?

  • From: Wednesday 11 March 2020, 6 pm
  • To: Wednesday 11 March 2020, 7.30 pm
  • Registration: 5.45 pm
  • Location: Newton building, Nottingham Trent University, City Campus, Burton Street, Nottingham, NG1 4BU
  • Booking deadline: Tuesday 10 March 2020, 12.00 pm
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Event details

Since October 2008, Diane Lees has served as Director General of the Imperial War Museums (IWM), which is the Cultural Lead for the Centenary of the First World War.

In Summer 2013, Diane was appointed as a Trustee of 14-18NOW, the Cultural Programme for the First World War Centenary. Diane has already raised significant funds for the transformation of IWM  and is tasked with creating a sustainable future for IWM’s five branches and 600 staff.

Before joining IWM, Diane was Director of the V&A Museum of Childhood at Bethnal Green. Diane had a specific brief to transform the museum and create a sustainable future for this east-end site. She also chaired the V&A’s UK Steering Group.

Diane began her career as an historic buildings researcher and then moved into exhibitions, education, and interpretation. She has worked on some of the most challenging and exciting projects in the country, including the rescue and relocation of a hat block manufacturer’s workshop in central Manchester, the recovery and display of the Mary Rose flagship in Portsmouth Harbour, and redisplay of the Nelson Galleries at the Royal Naval Museum.

She project-managed the creation of the UK standard for the recording of information about museum collections (SPECTRUM), and was responsible for the creation of the only museum of law in the country, the multi-award winning National Justice Museum in Nottingham.

A Trustee of the IWM Development Trust and The Gerry Holdsworth Special Forces Trust, Diane also serves as Vice President of the American Air Museum in Britain, is a member of the Women Leaders in Museums Network (WLMN) and sits on the judging panels of the Museums + Heritage Awards.  She is a member of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust’s Experts’ Reference Group.

Since May 2016, Diane has chaired a review of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)’s Museums, Galleries and Collections Fund. From April 2013 to March 2017, Diane chaired the National Museum Directors’ Council (NMDC).

In January 2015 she was appointed to the University of Oxford Humanities External Advisory Board. In December 2014, Diane was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list for services to museums, and in July 2015, was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree by the University of Reading.

In June 2017 she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Arts by Nottingham Trent University. In April 2018 she was appointed Chair to the University of Lincoln’s Board of Governors.

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Distinguished Lecture Series - Diane Lees CBE

Location details


Newton building


Nottingham Trent University
City Campus
Burton Street


Discounted city centre parking is available at Q-Park Talbot Street:

Q Park Talbot Street

Stanley Place



Past event

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