ICOM UK is made up of all the current ICOM members resident in the UK. An Executive Committee is elected every three years and is responsible for:
- Ensuring the timely and efficient administration of ICOM UK’s affairs
- Setting and defining strategic goals
- Ensuring effective financial management and reporting
- Championing the work of ICOM UK and ICOM
- Liaison with the ICOM Secretariat
ICOM UK Committee
Dr Christian Baars – Co-Chair (Head of Collections Care Department, National Museums Liverpool)
Nick Marchand – Co-Chair (Head of International Programmes, Victoria & Albert Museum)
Nick Marchand was appointed as Head of International Programmes at the V&A in August 2019. He leads the V&A’s international strategy, to extend reach and impact. His role sets the narrative for international work – building on the V&A’s existing reputation for partnership-building, thought leadership, touring exhibitions, training and licensing.
Having worked extensively in Australia and China, Nick is a former Director Arts (China & North-East Asia) for the British Council with a dual role as Counsellor (Arts & Culture) for the British Embassy in Beijing. Prior to that he was the British Council’s Director in Australia. Between 2001-2007, Nick was Artistic Director of Griffin Theatre Company (Sydney) and Producer of Wharf 2 Blueprints at Sydney Theatre Company. He was a Founding Board Member of PlayWriting Australia.
Nick studied Production & Technical Arts at London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art and is Co-Chair of ICOM UK and a trustee of New Earth Theatre.
Claire Messenger – Secretary (Manager, International Training Programme (ITP), British Museum)
Claire manages the British Museum’s International Training Programme (ITP) where she creates, develops and delivers an annual programme and a variety of further engagement projects that reflect current thinking in the culture and heritage sector. Through sharing knowledge, skills and experiences, she works to create and promote a sustainable global network of museum and heritage professionals.
With previous roles in the British Museum, leading a departmental administration team and working on loans, exhibitions and special events and projects, Claire now leads the International Training Programme team.
She works extensively with cultural bodies including historic buildings, sites and estates; private and council museums; foundations and trusts; university museums and departments; overseas institutions, governments and embassies. These local and global networks have proven essential to delivering programmes and projects for the ITP and helps support fellows to shape their own institutions while ensuring the programme remains relevant, flexible and at the forefront of current thinking.
Vacant – Treasurer
Arran Rees – Head of the Bursary Committee (Research Associate – Unlocking our Digital Past, Loughborough University)
Arran is a researcher and museum professional currently working on the Congruence Engine project – employed by the University of Leeds, but living in sunny (rainy) South Wales. He has worked in and with museums for over a decade, having spent =me as a curator and a collections manager in museums such as the Museum of Cardiff, The Royal Mint Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
In 2017 he started his PhD at the University of Leeds where he investigated collecting social media and memes in museums, and is generally interested in contemporary collecting and different approaches to collections management.
During that time, he joined the ICOM UK committee as the new Student and Emerging Professional member and has since taken on roles relating to the website and social media, and now as Head of the Bursary Committee. He also spends a large amount of time trying to encourage his cat to love him.
Huaiyuan Ren – Student and Emerging Professionals Representative (PhD Candidate)
Huaiyuan is a PhD candidate in the School of Arts, University of Kent. He received a Business Administration BA from Tianjin University, China in 2017. Huaiyuan came to Kent to start a MA program in Curating in the same year, which he completed in 2018 with the exhibition Beyond The Barricade in Studio 3 Gallery curated with fellow colleagues.
In the spring of 2019, Huaiyuan started his PhD research on contemporary art exhibitions from the 1980s onwards in China and the UK. His working title is The Different Approaches of Chinese and Western Artists and Curators (Art Dealers) Towards Exhibitions. His research focuses not only on the artistic approach of artists and curators, but more importantly, on how contemporary art in both countries influences each other, and how the exhibitions and art world in general influence the public, shaping and changing the avant-garde culture of an entire society.
Maria Blyzinsky – UK Blue Shield Representative (Independent Heritage Consultant and Writer)
Being the trustee with responsibility for liaison with the UK branch of Blue Shield International, Maria looks forward to strengthening ties between the two organisations.
She has a longstanding interest in the protection of culture under threat, having been an advisor to Heritage Without Borders where she trained museum professionals to work in post-conflict zones. As an Anglo-Ukrainian, she is involved with numerous initiatives to support cultural heritage colleagues in Ukraine. In 2022, she organised Heritage in Crisis, an ICOM UK pilot project of on-line talks now available on YouTube.
Maria is a London-based heritage consultant and independent curator. In 2008, she co-founded The Exhibitions Team, an association of museum professionals specialising in exhibitions, collections and interpretation. Her career began as a volunteer for Peterborough City Museum and Art Gallery, followed by various roles at the V&A and Royal Museums Greenwich, where she is now Curator Emeritus for the Royal Observatory. She is an alumna of the University of East Anglia’s Museum Leadership Programme, a former trustee of the National Jazz Archive, and served on the Museum Association’s Professional Development Committee. She is currently researching a book on generating ideas for exhibitions. As a secret rock and blues fan, Maria’s career highlight to date was acting as a heritage consultant for Abbey Road Studios.
Hannah Crowdy – Northern Ireland Representative & Committee Member (Head of Curatorial, National Museums Northern Ireland)
Hannah Crowdy has worked as a museum professional since 2002, beginning her career in a range of curatorial roles in local museums in England.
In 2009, she re-located to Northern Ireland to take up the new post of Interpretation Manager at National Museums NI, and in 2017 she was appointed to the role of Head of Curatorial. She is now part of the Senior Management Team and is responsible for a department of forty-two professional staff, leading the organisation’s core activities of collections development and research, and overseeing the exhibition programme and education programmes.
She has taken a leading role in National Museums NI’s work relating to contested histories and the legacy of the past in Northern Ireland, which has included the development of The Troubles and Beyond gallery at the Ulster Museum in Belfast. She has also devised and is leading on ‘Inclusive Global Histories’, National Museums NI’s programme of work to decolonise its museums and collections.
She sat on the Museums Association’s Ethics Committee from 2017-2023, and in that role participated in the Steering Group for the Decolonisation Confidence and Skills Programme. She is also on the Board for the Belfast Photo Festival.
Duncan Dornan – Scotland Representative & Committee Member (Head of Museums and Collections at Glasgow Life)
Duncan Dornan was appointed Head of Museums and Collections for Glasgow Life in 2015, having joined the company in 2013 as Senior Museums Manager.
Prior to this he had worked with the National Museums of Scotland since 1999 as a Museum Manager, establishing the new, National Museum of Rural Life. Within Glasgow Life his role involves responsibility for the management and development of Glasgow’s 8 world class museums along with the innovative Glasgow Museums Resources Centre.
He is also responsible for the cities collections; covering archaeology, natural history, technology, fine and decorative art and social history, the special collections in the Mitchell library and the city archives.
Jane Henderson – Wales Representative & Committee Member (Professor of Conservation, Cardiff University)
Jane Henderson, BSc, MSc, PACR, FIIC, is a Professor of Conservation and the Secretary General of the International Institute for Conservation.
Jane serves on the editorial panel of the Journal of the Institute for Conservation, is a member on the trustee board of the Welsh Federation of Museum and Art Galleries and represents Wales on ICOM UK and is a member of the Higher Education Museums and Galleries Fund Review panel.
Jane serves on the European standards body CEN TC 346 WG11 and is chair of the BSI standard group B/560 concerned with the conservation of Tangible Cultural heritage. Jane was delighted and honoured to win the Plowden medal in 2021.
Claire sits on the Supervisory Board of the British Egyptian Society, is a member of the Museums Association and of the British Museum’s International Activity Group. She is also an alumnus of the Clore Leadership Programme.
Jane Knowles – Committee Member (Head of Exhibitions, The National Gallery)
Nerys Rudder – Committee Member (Collections Officer, Manchester City Council)
An alumnae of Cardiff University and Central Saint Martins College, Nerys Rudder, BA, MA, MSc, is the Collections Officer for the Our Town Hall Project for Manchester City Council, a £330M+ refurbishment of the Grade 1 listed building. She is privileged to have enjoyed over 20 years’ experience as a collections manager, curator and conservator in the Caribbean and UK, working across galleries, libraries, archives and museums.
A past chair of ICOM Barbados, Nerys is also on the talent and participation committee of the International Institute for Conservation, a member of the Northwest Conservators Group and the Institute of Conservation. In her spare time, she has cultivated an unhealthy attachment to difficult houseplants and enjoys zombie apocalypse movies.
Abeer Eladany – Committee Member (Curatorial Assistant, Aberdeen University Museums)
Abeer Eladany graduated from the Faculty of Archaeology, Cairo University, and then gained a postgraduate diploma and Pre-MSc degree from the Faculty of Tourism, Helwan University. She worked at the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, for more than 10 years before travelling to Italy to study conservation of ceramics in Florence. She then joined the KNH Centre, University of Manchester, to study Biomedical and Forensic Studies in Egyptology where she achieved her MSc and PhD. In 2015, Abeer gained an MLitt in Museum Studies from the University of Aberdeen.
In her current role as a curatorial assistant at the University of Aberdeen’s Museums and Special Collections, she promotes wider access to the museum collections. Abeer’s research interests are mainly related to human remains, the history of Egyptology, and Museology (particularly Ethics and Repatriation), and she has joined archaeological excavations in Egypt and in Scotland.
Abeer is an active volunteer for a wide range of charities ranging from community projects to heritage groups in the UK and is currently a Trustee for SHMU, a community media organisation and one of the core cultural organisations in Aberdeen. She is also a director on the Board of Trustees of Soundfestival a new music incubator based in north-east Scotland encouraging new music creation and discovery.
Abeer is a member of the Slavery, Empire and Scottish Museums steering group that has recently published recommendations following a large public consultation regarding how Scotland’s existing and future museum collections and spaces can better recognise and represent a more accurate portrayal of Scotland’s colonial and slavery history.
Liz Johnson – Committee Member (Director, Museums & Collections Development, Arts Council England)
Liz Johnson is currently Director, Museums & Collections Development/ Birmingham, Arts Council England.
Liz has worked in museums, arts, heritage and the third sector for the last 20 years. She started out as the first female security guard at the National Railway Museum and has also worked for the British Architectural Library at the Royal Institute of British Architects, the University of Leicester, a start-up women’s charity, Leicester City Council, the Museum, Libraries & Archive Council and the National Trust. This is her second stint at Arts Council England. Liz is an Ambassador for the National Forest.