Our Trustees

Autograph’s Board of Trustees is central to our success and integrity.

Each trustee brings a unique perspective on our activity, and they include established artists, business leaders, lawyers and journalists. Together they have a comprehensive understanding of the legal and technical framework within which we operate and they also ensure that the right attitude and organisational culture is in place to enable the charity to put its core values into practice.

Our trustees help us reach our maximum potential; they provide us with strategic leadership, and test our mission and strategy on a regular basis to help secure a strong future for our beneficiaries and for the charity.


'Identity is an ever-unfinished conversation'

Professor Stuart Hall

The role of our board is to provide strategic leadership in line with the charity’s aims and values.

It agrees the charity’s vision, values and overall strategy. It leads by example, requiring anyone representing the charity to reflect its values positively. The board makes sure that those values are reflected in all of Autograph’s work, and that the ethos and culture of the organisation underpins the delivery of activities, whether undertaken alone or with partners and stakeholders.

The board’s responsibility is to always act in the best interests of the charity and its beneficiaries, ahead of any personal interest, and to safeguard and promote the charity’s reputation.

It accepts collective responsibility for ensuring that Autograph has a clear and relevant set of aims and an appropriate strategy for achieving them.

It makes sure that operational plans and budgets are in line with the charity’s purposes, strategic aims and resources; that performance is monitored regularly against the charity’s strategic aims, operational plans and budget and that Autograph works effectively and responsively to the regulatory environment.

The board also retains overall responsibility for risk management. It regularly checks key policies and procedures which are applied, including financial policy for reserves, service and quality standards, the application of good employment practices, fundraising and data protection.

The board ensures that the formal relationship between the parent charity, Autograph and its subsidiary Sense of Place Ltd is clearly recorded. At appropriate intervals it reviews whether these arrangements continue to serve the organisation’s charitable purposes properly.

All trustees give sufficient time to the charity to carry out their responsibilities effectively. This includes preparing for meetings and sitting on board committees and other governance bodies where needed. They work as an effective team, using the appropriate balance of skills, experience, backgrounds and knowledge to make informed decisions which ensure the charity functions effectively at all times.


Pawlet Brookes, Chair

CEO & Artistic Director, Serendipity: A highly experienced cultural leader, lecturer and author with multi disciplinary experience in cultural policy and planning as well as production and delivery of international dance, carnival and festival arts programmes. Expertise in business and cultural planning, fundraising, partnership development, commissioning/production of local and international artistic programmes fostering widespread community engagement.

Candace Allen

Candace is a writer, director and screenwriter. She studied at Harvard and the New York University School of Film & Television, and went on to become the first African-American female member of the Directors Guild of America. Consequent to her campaign-long commitment to the election of Barack Obama she became a newspaper and broadcast commentator on American politics, race and culture.

Eric Collins

Eric is a technology executive who has spent a career building the value of software companies through innovative product, distribution, monetization and partnering strategies. Eric sits on the boards of various cultural institutions and companies.

John Ellis

Chartered accountant. Expertise in cultural production, financial planning and management in the not-for-profit sector.

Rupert Grey

Leading solicitor in photographic law with the Intellectual Property practice Swan Turton Solicitors. Expertise in media and copyright law.

Roger Malbert OBE

Roger Malbert is a writer and curator. He was until July 2018 Head of Hayward Gallery Touring at the Southbank Centre, London. He has organised and co-curated many exhibitions and written catalogue essays on artists including Tacita Dean, Michael Armitage and Omar Ba. He is the author of Drawing People: The Human Figure in Contemporary Art, published by Thames & Hudson, 2015.

Guy Nicholson

Non Executive Director in the Financial Services sector, in the Arts and a Councillor in Hackney leading on Planning, Economy and Arts & Culture. Expertise in developing and implementing public policy, government relations and corporate development.

Jennie Ricketts

Jennie is a photography editor, curator, consultant and mentor. For 17 years she was a picture editor, commissioning and editing photography which attracted international recognition. She launched the Jennie Ricketts Gallery in Brighton in 2006 while writing and lecturing and now operates the gallery as an online space representing international photographers. She is currently a member of the Advisory Board for PhotoIreland, Dublin.

Dr Mark Sealy OBE

Director, Autograph: expertise in photography and its relationship to social change, cultural politics and human rights, commissioning, publishing and international galleries and museums.

Tony Stevenson

Managing Director, Whitechapel Gallery: expertise in strategic planning, finance and development in the visual arts, theatre and music sectors.

Professor Carol Tulloch

Writer and curator with a specialism in dress and black identities. Expertise in artist curation, collection interpretation and development, and publishing.

Anne Williams

Academic and former Creative Director for PhotoLab, London College of Communication. Expertise in academic partnerships, publishing, curation, public education, participation and learning.

Gary Younge

Journalist, author and broadcaster; Editor at Large, The Guardian. Expertise in investigative journalism, rights based issues, publishing, media and broadcasting.


Professor Catherine Hall

Author and Historian

Henry Louis Gates, Jr

Scholar, Historian, Journalist and Filmmaker

Rt Hon David Lammy MP

Politician, Lawyer and Author

Baroness Young of Hornsey OBE

Artist, Author, Cultural Critic, Public Speaker and Broadcaster