London Transport Museum has appointed Elizabeth McKay as its new director and CEO. McKay will succeed Sam Mullins, who is stepping down in August after 29 years at the helm.
McKay takes up the role after five years as the museum’s chief operating officer and deputy director. She joined the London Transport Museum in 2018, leading a programme of strategic renewal to articulate the organisation’s charitable purpose.
McKay has since overseen the museum's long-term approach to capital investment, gallery planning and design, and played a central role in developing its journey to reach net zero by 2030. She has also steered the museum’s strategic focus on creating an inclusive culture to engage diverse audiences.
McKay has championed investment in engaging with young Londoners with Steam subjects and supporting them to pursue creative careers in transport, engineering and green skills.
She has spearheaded ongoing efforts to engage London’s communities with the museum’s collection and the histories it represents, starting with the opening of the Legacies: London Transport’s Caribbean Workforce exhibition in 2022.
McKay also played a vital role in guiding London Transport Museum through the impact of the pandemic. The institution has now regained its position of creative, operational, commercial and financial strength and welcomed back 100% of its pre-pandemic visitor numbers in 2022-23.
Over the past 12 months, McKay has helped develop the museum’s new five-year strategy. The plan will engage audiences with a programme of exhibitions and events exploring London’s history and introduce new future-focused content and experiences to expand the museum's offer and reach.
McKay said: "I am excited at the opportunity to lead London Transport Museum as its next director and CEO at such a major moment in its history. Our new five-year strategy is underpinned by a vision of inclusion and relevance. It will begin our next chapter as we use our extraordinary collection as a springboard to ignite people’s curiosity and get them excited about shaping the future of our city.
"I’m keen to dial up our storytelling to engage audiences with fresh, relevant content, and I am committed to delivering outstanding outcomes for young people in the areas that really matter to them: their safety, their future careers and their enthusiasm to create a greener, more sustainable world. I plan to increase our reach to new audiences who reflect the multicultural breadth and diversity of London, and to expand to new audiences outside the UK."
Before joining the museum, McKay was chief learning and engagement officer at Historic Royal Palaces, where she delivered a new strategy and change programme that doubled audience reach onsite, offsite and online.
McKay is the deputy chair of the cultural sector charity Kids in Museums and a member of the ENO Insights Council.
Outgoing director Mullins said: "I am delighted with the appointment of Elizabeth McKay to succeed me as director. Elizabeth has been a strong influence on our industry-leading recovery from the pandemic, has been a tenacious and creative deputy director and has led the shaping of our strategy and integrated plans for the future. It has been my privilege to work for London Transport Museum and my pride and joy for the past 28 years. I know it will continue to flourish and develop under Elizabeth’s leadership, supported by an outstanding team."