The board of V&A Dundee have appointed Leonie Bell as the new director of the design museum.
Leonie is currently strategic lead for the Future Paisley Partnership at Renfrewshire Council, where she leads Paisley’s ambitious cultural regeneration plans following on from its UK City of Culture bid.
Her experience includes leadership and senior management in local and national government, national agencies and in the culture sector.
She also chairs the Advisory Board of Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art and is a trustee of the Edinburgh International Festival.
Leonie began her career at Glasgow 1999: UK City of Architecture & Design before becoming programme director at The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Architecture, Design & the City.
She was previously the head of Culture Strategy and Engagement at the Scottish Government where she developed Scotland’s first cultural strategy in over 10 years.
Before joining the Scottish Government, Leonie was director of arts and engagement at Creative Scotland overseeing major funding programmes, developing arts strategy and supporting art form sector reviews.
She also led Scotland’s national cultural programmes for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Leonie replaces the founding director of V&A Dundee, Philip Long OBE, who recently took over the role of Chief Executive of National Trust for Scotland.
Tim Allan, Chair of V&A Dundee’s Board, said: “We are delighted that Leonie has accepted this leading role at V&A Dundee, leading its awakening from the Covid-19 lockdown into a new era.
“She is a very experienced, charismatic leader with a passionate background in design and what it can do for communities and places as well as enhancing our position in the world.
“Leonie was born in Dundee and grew up in nearby Fife. She has real authenticity, knowledge, energy and understanding of the museum, its importance to Dundee and Scotland, and of the cultural sector in Scotland and the UK.”
Leonie said: “I am delighted and honoured to have been appointed director of V&A Dundee.
“I am looking forward to working with the board, the team, the museum’s partners and the people of Dundee to further establish V&A Dundee as a world class design museum for Scotland.
“Like so many, I have watched V&A Dundee flourish in its first two years, and it is a huge privilege to lead the museum into its next phase.”
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “I congratulate Leonie Bell on her appointment as Director.
“She brings excellent cultural leadership to V&A Dundee in its next phase of development and the Scottish Government looks forward to working with her.”