Esme Ward appointed director of Manchester Museum - Museums Association

Esme Ward appointed director of Manchester Museum

Head of learning and engagement will be museum’s first female director
Profile image for Rebecca Atkinson
Rebecca Atkinson
Esme Ward has been appointed as the director of Manchester Museum, replacing Nick Merriman, who will join the Horniman Museum and Gardens in London in May as chief executive.

Ward, the museum’s first female director in its 125-year history, will take up the position on 9 April. She has been head of learning and engagement at Manchester Museum and the Whitworth since 2010.

“The vision to use Manchester Museum’s collections to promote understanding between cultures and a sustainable world could not be more timely or relevant,” Ward said. “I am hugely excited to lead the museum at this critical time, build upon its excellent work to date and realise its potential as the UK’s most inclusive, imaginative and caring museum.”

Alongisde her work at the museum, Ward is the strategic culture lead for Age Friendly Manchester at Manchester City Council, and teaches a postgraduate programme at the University of Manchester.

She is also a Clore Fellow and is a member of the advisory committee for the National Alliance of Museums, Health and Wellbeing.

James Thompson, the vice president for social responsibility at the University of Manchester, said: “Esme will bring vision and innovation to the museum, continuing its excellent work with academics and students, and its commitment to engagement with diverse local, national and international communities.”

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