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Bernard Donoghue OBE


Bernard Donoghue has been the Director and CEO of ALVA, the UK’s Association for Leading Visitor Attractions, since September 2011 following a career in advocacy, communications, and lobbying, latterly at VisitBritain. ALVA is the principal advocacy body for the most important and significant museums, galleries, palaces, stately homes, cathedrals, heritage sites, gardens, zoos, performance venues and visitor attractions. Under Bernard’s leadership the organisation’s membership has more than doubled in size and it undertakes six times more events and activities for members.

In 2017, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, appointed Bernard to be the Mayor's Ambassador for Cultural Tourism and a member of the Mayor's Cultural Leadership Board. He is Co-Chair of the London Tourism Recovery Board, tasked with the sustainable recovery of London’ s visitor economy, created in February 2021. It commissioned the #LetsDoLondon campaign in 2021 which generated an additional 280,000 visits to the capital, and an additional spend of £70m.

He was Chairman of LIFT, the award-winning London International Festival of Theatre between 2010 and 2021, and was a board member since 2005. He appointed four of the organisation’s CEOs and Artistic Directors.

He was appointed Chairman of the Board of the Bristol Old Vic, the oldest continually working theatre in the English-speaking world, in June 2021.

In November 2021 he was elected Chairman of the People’s History Museum, the Museum of Democracy, having been a Trustee since 2018.

In January 2022 he was appointed Chairman of the London and South East Regional Advisory Board of the National Trust, the Trust area with the most members and most properties, 1,300 staff and 11,000 volunteers.

He was Chairman of the Council of WWF-UK for 10 years until 2020, and prior to that was an ambassador for 15 years and a trustee for 8 years. He is a former Chair of VisitManchester; London Youth Matters; and, when a student, the British Youth Council.

He is a former trustee of The Museum of The Home, London; the Heritage Alliance; Kids in Museums; and Centrepoint, the youth homelessness charity. He was a founder trustee of the international LGBTQ Kaleidoscope Trust. He has been an appointed member of the Cathedral Council of St Paul’s Cathedral, London, since 2009.

He has been a member of the UK Government's Tourism Industry Council, advising Ministers on all matters relating to domestic and inbound tourism, since 2016.

In 2020 he was named by Blooloop as one of the world’s 50 most influential people in museums, and in July 2021 won the public vote for the COVID Special Recognition Award from the UK Museums and Heritage Awards for his service to, and leadership of the museums and heritage sector in the UK during the pandemic.

He was awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2022 for services to tourism and to culture.

Email: [email protected]

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