New Faculty Members announced for Oxford Cultural Leaders

We are delighted to welcome Neil Mendoza, Alex Beard, Miki Lentin, Lizzie Palmer, Nelisha Wickremasinghe, and Tom Hammond-Davies to the Oxford Cultural Leaders Faculty for 2019.


Neil Mendoza

Neil Mendoza (Image Credit: John Cairns Photography)

“Super engaging and super relevant for cultural leaders of today.” Melissa A Carrillo, Director of New Media and Technology for the Smithsonian Latino Centre 

“From the first day I realised it was something completely different. The programme was put together so sensitively – the whole conception was a beautiful thing." Kristel Oitmaa, Cultural Diplomat, Estonia Embassy, London

“Thanks to the many stimulating lectures and workshops all of the participants were able to give of their best, and seemed to get an enormous amount out of the course.” Graham Henderson, Chief Executive of the Rimbaud & Verlaine Foundation

It’s always rewarding to receive positive feedback from our Oxford Cultural Leaders (OCL) delegates, particularly when they speak of the relevance of our sessions to their working lives and the issues that are being faced by their institutions today. We ask delegates to be constructive in their feedback, however, and this enables us to keep challenging ourselves and to keep interrogating and developing our programme. Each year we reflect on our content and invite new contributors to ensure the programme remains relevant, provocative, and at the cutting edge of leadership development in the cultural sector today.

Looking ahead to 2019, we have invited new faculty members to bring knowledge and expertise that will elevate and extend the programme. Around the world cultural institutions are under increasing pressures to deliver on multiple missions of culture, commerce and community and here in the UK, this time last year, we saw these pressures and challenges quantified and addressed within The Mendoza Review: an independent review of museums in England. This review provides a marker in time and a roadmap for the future and as such it is only fitting that, as our first new faculty appointment, Neil Mendoza will be joining us at the beginning of the week to discuss and reflect upon the findings of the report and the progress that has since been made.

Facing challenges head on, and being fearless with the scale of your ambitions, Alex Beard, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, and Miki Lentin, Head of Corporate Affairs at the British Library will provide an insight into their experiences leading transformational programmes. Alex Beard has overseen a major redevelopment of the public facilities of the Royal Opera House including the creation of a new world class theatre and an extension of its digital presence and reach. Miki Lentin, a former OCL delegate, designed and implemented the Knowledge Quarter, a collaborative partnership bringing together a consortium of organisations in the area around King’s Cross, the Euston Road and Bloomsbury.

We are also delighted to be able to welcome Lizzie Palmer, a dynamic storyteller and brand consultant, Nelisha Wickremasinghe, psychologist, entrepreneur and Senior Client Director for Custom Executive Education at the Saïd Business School, and Tom Hammond-Davies, award-winning choral conductor and is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Oxford Bach Soloists and of the Blenheim Singers. Our diverse faculty members will support our delegates and help them to reflect upon their role as ‘leaders’ – exploring what this means to them and helping them to find the courage they need to be similarly ambitious and dynamic within their own organisations.

Find out more about the Oxford Cultural Leaders Faculty at

Apply for Oxford Cultural Leaders 2019 at