The National Army Museum was founded by Royal Charter in 1960. The Council is the organisation's governing body, responsible for setting strategy and overseeing performance.
Key responsibilities of the Council are to:
Sir Simon Mayall recently retired from a long and distinguished Army career in which he served in a variety of senior military and political advisory roles focused on the Middle East. Sir Simon began his career with the British Army in 1978 and held a series of increasingly senior roles until his retirement in July 2015.
Sir Simon joined Greenhill & Co as a senior advisor in September 2015. He was educated at Oxford University (Modern History), and has a master’s degree in International Relations and Affairs from King’s College London.
Ali Ansari is Professor of Iranian History and Founding Director of the Institute for Iranian Studies at the University of St Andrews. He is also Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute. In 2016 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and in 2018 he was elected Hon Vice President of the British Institute for Persian Studies. In 2020 he was awarded a two-year Knowledge Exchange Fellowship at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.
His publications include: 'Modern Iran since 1797'; 'Iran, Islam and Democracy: The Politics of Managing Change'; 'These Islands: A Letter to Britain'; 'Iran: A Very Short Introduction'; and 'The Politics of Nationalism in Modern Iran'. He is currently working on a history of British-Iranian relations since 1800.
Tim Cooke recently retired from a career in banking as Chairman of Lloyds Bank International based in Jersey. A graduate of University College London (Medieval and Modern History) including a year at the War Studies Department at King’s College, Tim sustained his interest in military history throughout his career, publishing a number of articles before co-chairing the 200th anniversary commemorations of the Battle of Waterloo.
Tim now chairs The Attingham Trust, an educational charity, and is Vice Chairman of the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, charged with restoring a vast Palladian mansion in South Yorkshire.
For several years, Tim has chaired the National Army Museum Development Trust.
Paul Davies is a former military engineer and Civil Servant. He began his 24-year Army career in 1977 as an apprentice in the Royal Engineers and left as a Warrant Officer. His service included a flying tour with the Army Air Corps, postings in Germany, UK and Gibraltar, and tours in Northern Ireland, the Falkland Islands and the Balkans.
Paul left the Army for the public sector in 2001 and held Estates and Operational leadership roles at The British Library and Imperial War Museum. He was the Head of Estates and Facilities at The National Archives, becoming the Operations Director in 2016.
Paul retired as a Senior Civil Servant in June 2021. He is now a school governor and works part-time at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew.
Judith Donovan was one of the first female entrepreneurs in Yorkshire, founding her own marketing agency in 1982, which she grew to over 50 staff and a turnover of £12.5 million, before selling in 2000.
Since then she has pursued a non–executive and trustee career, primarily in the public and third sectors. She is currently: Trustee, Science Museum Group, Chair, Advisory Board National Science and Media Museum & Member, Audit Committee; Trustee, National Army Museum & Chair, National Army Museum Trading Ltd; Chair, Employment Advisory Board, HMP Askham Grange & New Hall; Chair, Ripon Cathedral Council, Vice Chair Ripon Cathedral Rural Forum & Honorary Lay Canon; Chair, Keep Me Posted Campaign; Trustee, the Woolmens Company charity.
Previously she has been Chair of Eden Project Ltd, Vice Chair of Postwatch, a Millennium Commissioner, a Director of HSE, BIG Lottery Fund and also Chair of the Yorkshire Tourist Board, Chair of Bradford TEC, President of Bradford Chamber of Commerce, a Trustee of Northern Ballet and the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and also a DEFRA-appointed member on both the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and the British Wool Marketing Board.
Chris Finney joined the British Army at 16 years old and served for nine years in the Household Cavalry Regiment (Blues and Royals). For his actions in Iraq in 2003, Chris was awarded the George Cross and was made a Freeman of Stockport.
Chris now lives in Cornwall where he and his wife, Liz, own and operate two garden centres. Chris also serves as the Chairman of The Victoria Cross and George Cross Association.
Neil Johnson is currently Group Chair of global defence and security firm QinetiQ Plc. He also Chairs Dialight Plc and is Deputy Chair of the Business Growth Fund.
His earlier executive career included senior roles in the engineering and automotive industries with Jaguar, Land Rover and British Aerospace. He later served a term as Director General of the Engineering Employers Federation. From 1985 to 1989, he was seconded to the UK Ministry of Defence and commanded 4th Royal Green Jackets Battle-Group in 12 Armoured Brigade in Germany. He was later promoted to Colonel and was Deputy Commander of 160 [Welsh] Infantry Brigade in Brecon. He was appointed Territorial ADC to the Queen and served terms as Honorary Colonel of both the Royal Green Jackets and the Pembroke Yeomanry.
He has previously been an advisor to Prime Ministers on the Citizen’s Charter, a member of a Ministry of Defence Advisory Board and an Independent Member of the Metropolitan Police Authority.
He currently Chairs the London Rifles Volunteer Trust, is a member of the Royal Hospital Chelsea fundraising committee, Senior Trustee of the Army and Navy Club, and an Advisory Council Member of the Cavalry and Guards Club.
Sue Mackenzie has served in senior management and advisory roles, within public and private companies, for more than 20 years. In 13 years at P&O Ferries she held a variety of roles including, most recently, as Operations and Business Transformation Director. Prior to that she was Operations Director at London Luton Airport, at a time of unprecedented growth following the launch of easyJet.
Following university and training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Sue served in the Army, before moving to the Charity Sector to be Chief Executive of Cities in Schools (CiS), which ran partnership programmes between business and the community to provide education to disadvantaged young people. She currently serves as a Non-Executive Director of BMT Group Ltd, the Port of London Authority, Medway NHS Foundation Trust and Logistics UK. She is also a trustee of the Women’s Royal Army Corps Association.
Lieutenant General Sir George Norton is Commandant of the Royal College of Defence Studies after an Army career which spanned 38 years and culminated in his appointment as the UK's senior military diplomat in Brussels. He was educated at Cambridge, Sandhurst and the Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr, and commissioned in the Grenadier Guards.
The highlights of his Regimental service included Battalion command and the honorary appointment of Regimental Lieutenant Colonel during the closing years of the Colonelcy of HRH Prince Philip. His wider military service was primarily operational and multinational in its focus, including multiple tours of Afghanistan and Northern Ireland, and a year in Sarajevo following the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement.
He commanded the Household Division over the period of The Queen's Diamond Jubilee, when he found himself additionally responsible for the Army's support to the 2012 Olympics in London. He concluded his uniformed career as the UK's longest serving Military Representative to Nato and its final Military Representative to the European Union.
Andrew Roberts is a biographer and historian who appears regularly on radio and TV. His books 'Salisbury: Victorian Titan', 'The Storm of War', 'Masters and Commanders', 'Napoleon the Great' and 'Churchill: Walking with Destiny' all won literary awards. 'George III: The Life and Reign of Britain’s Most Misunderstood Monarch' is published in October 2021.
He is a trustee of the Margaret Thatcher Archive Trust and President of the Cliveden Literary Festival, a Visiting Professor at the War Studies Department of King’s College London and the Roger and Martha Mertz Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
Dr Paul Schreier was born in Australia. He took his BA, Master’s and PhD degrees in engineering at Cambridge University before joining the Royal Navy. After commanding a ship, he left to join McKinsey & Company’s London office, where he became a partner before moving to Kuala Lumpur.
He was subsequently appointed to the Australian Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, becoming deputy secretary with responsibility for economic policy and strategy. He then served as Chief Operating Officer at Macquarie University in Sydney before three years leading Hakluyt from 2016. He is now serving as Chief Operating Officer at the Wellcome Trust.
Sabine Vandenbroucke is the Chief Operating Officer of Condé Nast Publishing, where she oversees the operations of Vogue, GQ and Vanity Fair, among other titles. Previously, she was Winkorp’s Chief Financial Officer, which she helped establish and develop into multiple brand extensions with global reach.
She sits on the boards of Condé Nast Publishing Ltd and the Belgian publisher Die Keure, and previously held board roles in Winkorp’s global entities. Sabine studied business engineering and philosophy before completing her MBA at INSEAD.
Richard Hughes is a practising City solicitor and a partner at a leading law firm. He has a law degree from Oxford University and a degree in modern history from Birmingham University. His 37 years' professional experience also includes periods as in-house counsel at a major investment bank (Morgan Stanley) and a leading airline (Emirates).
In parallel with his work as a lawyer, he has always played a role in the charitable sector; this has included running a pro bono law centre and acting as trustee of a benevolent fund. In addition to his work with the National Army Museum, he is a trustee of the Western Front Association for which he organises its annual commemoration at the Cenotaph on 11 November.
Angela Marshall is a qualified accountant and runs her own management consultancy. She has worked extensively in both the public and private sectors in both executive and advisory roles. Since setting up her own company, she has spent the last 30 years working across the public, private and third sectors in senior advisory and non-executive roles.
She has held non-executive roles at the Eden Project, the Government Actuary's Department, the Science and Technology Facilities Council, the Valuation Office Agency, the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, and the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority.
She has been appointed as the External Independent Financial Adviser to the NAM Performance, Audit and Risk Assurance Committee and to the NAMTL Enterprise Committee from October 2023.
Summary minutes of Meetings of the Museum Council are published below.