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Leading professionals join the Collections Trust Board

The Collections Trust, the professional association for people working in collections management, has announced the appointment of six new Trustees to its existing Board following an open recruitment campaign. The new Trustees, who will join the Board at its meeting in March 2015, are:

  • Jane Henderson, Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader, Conservation at Cardiff University
  • Sarah Levitt, Head of Arts and Museums, Culture and Neighbourhood Services, Leicester City Council
  • Tonya Nelson, Head of Museums and Collections, University College London
  • Deborah Potter, Head of Conservation, Collection, Tate
  • Susan Raikes, Head of the Learning, Audiences and Volunteers Department, The British Museum
  • Irene Walsh, former Director Deloitte Corporate Finance, now studying for an MA in Fine & Decorative Art at Sotheby’s Institute

Speaking on behalf of the Board of Trustees, the Collections Trust Chair Nick Merriman comments, “I am delighted to welcome our new fellow Trustees to the Collections Trust’s Board. As the professional association for collections management, it is essential that we can call on the expertise and vision of such influential sector leaders to help drive our work. I look forward to working with them as we look to the future of the Collections Trust as a key charity supporting the UK and international community.”

A brief introduction to the new Trustees is at and also provided below:

Jane Henderson

Jane is a Senior Lecturer at Cardiff University where in addition to instigating and leading the MSc in Conservation Practice, she is programme leader of the MSc in Care of Collections, and teaching coordinator for all BSc and MSc conservation programmes.

A leading figure in the conservation community, Jane has provided expert advice and consultancy to numerous organisations including the Heritage Lottery Fund, CyMAL: Museums, Archives and Libraries Wales and Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales.

Sarah Levitt

Sarah is Head of Arts and Museums, Culture and Neighbourhood Services, Leicester City Council. She was born in Macclesfield, Cheshire and grew up in Leek, Staffordshire. A BA in Art History and an MA in the History of Dress were followed by work at Platt Hall Gallery of English Costume, Manchester City Art Galleries, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery and Gunnersbury Park Museum, West London. She came to Leicester in 1997 as Head of Museums, and became Head of Arts and Museums in 2006.


Sarah is a fellow of the Museums Association and has written and lectured extensively on a range of subjects related to museums. She was involved in the DCMS funded Renaissance in the Regions programme as Lead Officer for Renaissance East Midlands.


Sarah was the Council’s lead officer during 2011-12 with Philippa Langley to facilitate the Greyfriars excavation. Since the discovery of the remains of King Richard III, she has been lead “client end-user” for the King Richard III Visitor Centre.


Tonya Nelson

Tonya is currently Head of Museums and Collections at University College London where she oversees the operations of three public museums – Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, Grant Museum of Zoology and UCL Art Museum – and 10 teaching and research collections. 


Prior to this, Tonya was Manager of the Petrie Museum, where she spearheaded a project to create a 3D image library of its collection and a range of 3D web and mobile applications. Before entering the cultural sector, she was a corporate lawyer and management consultant.


Deborah Potter

Deborah is currently Head of Conservation, Collection, at Tate, where she is responsible for leading and supporting the work of the Conservation Department. Her remit includes: Strategic and Financial Planning; Acquisitions; Collection Care; Storage & Access; Artist Rooms; and Sustainability.


Deborah has worked in the Arts and Cultural Sector for 20 years, with previous roles including: Conservation Manager at the National Army Museum; Senior Conservator (Preventive Conservation) at Glasgow Museums; and Associate Tutor on the Leicester University Museum Studies Programme.


Deborah has an honours degree in Archaeology, Masters in both Museum Studies and Computers, Certificates in Management, Museum & Gallery Studies, and Mindfulness, and Associate Membership of the Museums Association.


Susan Raikes

Susan is the Head of the Learning, Audiences and Volunteers Department at the British Museum, to which she brings considerable experience in the museum learning field and a genuine passion for and ability to bring museum collections and audiences together nationwide.

Susan has more than 15 years’ experience working in independent, local authority and national museums. She was able to develop on her considerable management and leadership experience as a Fellow of the Clore Leadership Programme in 2012/13.  She also holds a first degree in Ancient History and MAs in both Museum Studies and Primary Education.

Irene Walsh

Irene is an experienced investment banker and financial advisor to governments and corporates in the development of infrastructure projects. Based in both New York and London over the last thirty years, she has held senior positions at J.P. Morgan, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), KPMG Corporate Finance, UBS, and Deloitte Corporate Finance, while engaging in the wider cultural sphere in both countries.

Irene holds degrees from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and George Washington University and is presently earning an MA in Fine and Decorative Art from Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London.

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