About Me

Tonya NelsonI could be described in a number of ways. According to one customer segmentation scheme, I am a ‘Metrocultural’ (a prosperous, liberal, urbanites 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. From time to time I 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 recently started a new phase of my career in arts:  I have joined Arts Council England (ACE) as the first Director of Arts Technology and Innovation. In this role, I will support the cultural sector in adopting new technologies in order to produce new types of artistic content and the extend the reach of existing art forms. I hope to build on the work I did at the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) in 2017, under the leadership of Matthew Hancock MP, which resulted in the Culture is Digital policy paper. I also sit on the board of trustees of National Gallery.  I am Chair of ICOM UK and and The Bomb Factory Art Foundation.  I am also a Senior Associate at AEA Consulting and act as an Art World Professional Advisor for Christie’s Education. I hold degrees in Public Policy (Brown University), Law (Georgetown University) and Art History (Christie’s Education/University of Glasgow). I was formerly Director, Museums and Cultural Programmes at University College London (UCL).


For speaking engagements and consulting services, please contact me at nelsontonyal@protonmail.com