Eilish McGuinness appointed as new Chief Executive

From the new year, Eilish McGuiness will become the Chief Executive of NHMF and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, taking over from Ros Kerslake CBE who is stepping down at the end of 2021. 

Today, Dr Simon Thurley CBE, Chair of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, announced the appointment of a new Chief Executive.

I am delighted that the Trustees have chosen Eilish McGuinness as Chief Executive to succeed Ros Kerslake. I personally, and the Trustee Board, look forward to working with Eilish over the coming years.

Dr Simon Thurley CBE

Longstanding heritage experience 

Eilish has worked in heritage for all her professional life and has extensive experience of the sector and the breadth of heritage right across the UK. She joined The National Lottery Heritage Fund in 1996 and has held a variety of roles, both operational and strategic. She is currently Executive Director of Business Delivery.

Portrait of Eilish McGuinness
Eilish McGuinness

Prior to joining the Heritage Fund, Eilish worked with Historic Scotland, Historic Monuments & Buildings Branch, Northern Ireland and in the heritage sector in Dublin.

Eilish has a degree in History of Art and Archaeology from University College Dublin, and an MA from Queen’s University Belfast, where she was a junior research fellow in the Institute of Irish Studies at Queen’s University Belfast.

A strong successor 

Simon Thurley says: “The Trustees were presented with an extremely strong field for one of the best jobs in heritage and we are delighted to appoint someone with wide experience, outstanding management and leadership ability and a strong strategic sense.”

Eilish McGuinness says: “It is an enormous privilege to have this opportunity to lead the Heritage Fund and National Heritage Memorial Fund and support organisations and communities who look after our rich and varied heritage right across the UK. I look forward to ensuring we continue to be responsive to the needs of the heritage as we recover from the pandemic.”