Our Trustees

Board of Trustees

IWM is an independent, statutory, corporate, public body with exempt charity status. It is governed by a Board of Trustees acting on the authority of the Imperial War Museum Acts 1920 and 1955, the Museums and Galleries Act 1992 and other relevant legislation. The Board of Trustees was constituted under the schedule of the Imperial War Museum Act 1920, by which the museum itself was formally established.

There are 22 Trustees, including the President, who is appointed by the Sovereign.

The remaining 21 members of the Board are appointed variously by:

The Prime Minister
The Foreign Secretary
The Secretary of State for Defence
The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
The seven Commonwealth Governments of Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka are represented by their High Commissioners in an ex officio capacity.

Apart from the President and the ex officio High Commissioners, Trustee appointments are subject to the requirements and recommendations laid down in the Nolan Committee Report on Standards in Public Life.  Trustees are appointed in the first instance for a term of up to four years and may be re-appointed at the end of their term.

The Chairman of the Board is elected by the Trustees from among their number.

The Role of Trustees

Members of the Board have corporate responsibility for the general management and control of IWM.  It is their responsibility also to ensure that IWM complies with any statutory or administrative requirements for the use of public funds.  Specifically, the Board:

  • Determines the general policy of IWM
  • Appoints the Director-General of IWM, with the approval of the Prime Minister
  • Monitors and oversees the Director-General’s management of IWM. The Director-General is the Board’s chief executive and the Accounting Officer of IWM
  • Has legal responsibility for the buildings, collections and financial assets of IWM and their care and management
  • Approves IWM’s Corporate Plan
  • Monitors the process of Risk Management within IWM
  • Publishes an annual report and account, audited by the Comptroller and Auditor-General

Trustees meet quarterly in March, July, September and December.