New Director of Public Engagement

We are delighted to announce Emmajane Avery as our new Director of Public Engagement.

As Director of Public Engagement, Emmajane will be responsible for leading our Public Engagement Strategy and developing on site, online, and off site learning and engagement programmes for the public and wider educational audiences. She will also be responsible for marketing and communications, customer relations and maintaining service excellence at The National Archives. She will take a key role in the ongoing redevelopment of the public spaces at Kew, online public engagement growth as well as moves towards greater offsite activities in the community.

Emmajane has 20 years’ experience in the museum and cultural heritage sector and holds an MA in Museology from the University of East Anglia (Sainsbury Centre). She was formerly Director of Learning and Visitor Experience at the Victoria and Albert Museum. As a member of the V&A senior management team she was involved in delivering a range of major capital projects, and part of the team which received the Art Fund Museum of the Year award in 2016.

She has also held posts at the Wallace Collection, Tate Modern and the Ashmolean. She has extensive experience of developing learning programmes for all audiences, digital learning and visitor experience. Since 2017, she has been the Chair of Kids in Museums, an Arts Council funded charity which seeks to make museums, galleries, historic sites and archives as accessible as possible to families and young people.

Jeff James, Chief Executive and Keeper of The National Archives, said: ‘I am delighted to welcome Emmajane to The National Archives’ team and am looking forward to all that she can add to our growing public programmes.  She brings fantastic depth and breadth of experience from the museum and cultural sector, which will enhance our ability to open the collection to new audiences.

‘In 2019, we made a commitment in our strategy Archives for Everyone, to make our collections as welcoming and accessible as possible to all communities, and it was her demonstrable commitment to this goal that makes Emmajane the perfect match for this role.’

Emmajane takes up the post following the retirement of the previous post-holder, Caroline Ottaway-Searle, who oversaw the creation of the Public Engagement directorate and developed a strong public engagement programme and inclusion ethos at The National Archives.

Emmajane Avery said of her appointment: ‘I’m excited to join The National Archives in this vital role at such a pivotal moment for the organisation and the sector. I have great admiration for The National Archives as a national institution and for its strong commitment to public engagement.

‘I am looking forward to working with colleagues and partners to build on the remarkable achievements of recent years by adding a new chapter to its history.’

Further information on The National Archives’ leadership and strategy can be found here.

Tags: Archives for Everyone, directors, executive team, public engagement, strategy