Maggie Appleton

Maggie Appleton elected Museums Association president

Patrick Steel, 24.01.2018
RAF Museum CEO takes over from David Fleming
Maggie Appleton, the chief executive officer of the RAF Museum and a board member of the Museums Association (MA) will take over from David Fleming as president of the MA in April.

Appleton was elected at a meeting of the MA board yesterday. She will begin her presidency on 1 April.

She has over twenty-five years’ experience in the sector, focusing on the difference that museums and culture can make to people’s lives. After starting her career at the Royal Armouries, she worked in community museums in Stevenage and Luton, going on to be the chief executive of Luton Culture before moving to her current role at the RAF Museum in January 2015.

She led the development of Stockwood Discovery Centre, which opened in July 2008, and was behind a campaign to save the medieval Wenlok Jug for Luton and the nation after its export was stopped in 2006.

In 2012 she received an MBE for services to museums and heritage.

Her presidency begins on the centenary of the Royal Air Force's foundation, which heralds a £26m transformation at the RAF Museum's London site, with a focus on storytelling.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be elected as MA president,” says Appleton.

“Having been a member of the MA for about 25 years, it’s an utter privilege, and I am very much looking forward to working with Sharon, the fabulous MA team, my colleagues on the board and all our members, to build on David Fleming’s immense contribution to museums.

“We continue to face unprecedented challenges and it’s more important than ever that the MA works with our partners to lead, listen and advocate with clarity, bravery and positivity.”

Outgoing MA president Fleming says: "It is vital that the MA not only continues to help ensure that it represents the interests of its membership, but that museums continue to modernise, and that the world takes museums seriously.

"It is a natural next step to elect a moderniser like Maggie Appleton to the job of president of the MA.

"I am confident that the key relationship Maggie needs – with the director of the MA, Sharon Heal – will enable the MA to continue its upward trajectory, which is so important for the welfare of the nation. The MA is in very good hands."

Sharon Heal, the MA’s director, says: “I am delighted that the MA board has elected Maggie Appleton as our new president.

“She is a champion of museums and the difference that they can make working with their communities. I am looking forward to working closely with her and the rest of the board to advocate the value of museums to society and to support our members and the wider sector to connect to wide and diverse audiences.

“It has been a pleasure to work with David Fleming over the past few years and he has provided visionary leadership for the MA while we have grown our membership, influence and networks.“

The end of Fleming’s presidency coincides with his retirement from National Museums Liverpool, which he joined in 2001.

The MA’s trustees are elected by the membership and nominations are currently open for a member to join the board in April.


Sort by: Most recent - Most liked
Timothy Ambrose
Principal, Timothy Ambrose Consulting
25.01.2018, 11:03
Many congratulations and all best wishes for a successful presidency, Maggie. Tim
25.01.2018, 10:08
Many congratulations and best wishes in this tough climate for the museum sector!