Sam Mullins steps down from London Transport Museum after 29 years - Museums Association

Sam Mullins steps down from London Transport Museum after 29 years

Successor will lead the organisation's next five-year strategy
Sam Mullins has been at the London Transport Museum since 1994
Sam Mullins has been at the London Transport Museum since 1994

Sam Mullins is to step down as director and chief executive of London Transport Museum after 29 years at the institution.

Mullins is to leave following the appointment of a successor, who will be responsible for taking forward the museum’s next five-year strategy.

Mullins joined the museum as director in 1994. Among the highlights of his tenure are the creation of the first publicly accessible museum store in the UK at Acton Depot in 1999 and the £22m redevelopment of the Covent Garden museum in 2007.

He guided the museum through the challenges of Covid and saw visitor numbers grow from 180,000 to more than 400,000 a year during his time as director.

Mullins oversaw the organisation’s transition to charity governance in 2008 and was responsible for programming such as the Tube150 anniversary programme (2013), the Year of the Bus (2014), Transported by Design (2016), and Hidden London (2019).

He is a historian and co-author of Underground: How the Tube Shaped London (2012) and Hidden London: Discovering the Forgotten Underground (2019). After stepping down he intends to complete the first history of Transport for London.


Mullins is president of the International Association of Transport Museums, deputy chair of ss Great Britain, vice president of the Association of Independent Museums, a judge of the Museums + Heritage Awards and a former board member of the Museums Association.

He was awarded an OBE for services to London Transport Museum in the 2019 New Year’s Honours.

Mullins paid tribute to his colleagues at the museum and described his tenure as “the most rewarding of my professional career as a leader and historian working in museums”.

Andy Lord, the commissioner of Transport for London, said: “Not only has Sam shaped London Transport Museum into an award-winning visitor attraction, he has also established it as a charity that reaches beyond its walls to benefit children and young people across the capital and beyond.”

Keith Ludeman, the museum’s chair of trustees, said: “His inspirational leadership was most evident during the Covid-19 pandemic, from which the museum emerged even more strongly, recovering more quickly than any other London museum. On behalf of the board of trustees, I wish him a long, happy and healthy future, and thank him warmly for his long stewardship of this precious institution.”

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