About Me

Tonya NelsonI could be described in a number of ways. The Arts Council England would label me a ‘metrocultural’ (an urbanite interested in a very wide cultural spectrum). Based on my CV, you might describe me as a management consultant and corporate lawyer turned arts leader.  My childhood friends might describe me  as  an adventurer and itinerate traveller; I would describe myself as a budding thought leader and aspirant writer and public speaker. However, I might be best described by my ceaseless hunt for the answer to the questions: Why does culture matter?  How can we more fully express ourselves through culture? How can we use culture to create a better society?

My bio: I am Director of Museums and Cultural Programmes at University College London (UCL). In this role, I am responsible for delivering exhibitions, festivals, public art and theatre programmes aimed at animating and activating cutting-edge university research.  I also sit on the board of trustees of National Gallery , China Plate Theatre, and Bomb Factory Art Foundation.  I am Chair of ICOM UK.  I was seconded to the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport in 2017 to help write the Culture is Digital policy paper under the leadership of Matthew Hancock MP.  I hold degrees in Public Policy, Law and Art History.