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Gail Lord President & Co-Founder Lord Cultural Services

Gail Lord is one of the world’s foremost museum planners. She is also an art critic, commentator, public speaker and co-author of six museum planning manuals and several books.

Lord co-founded Lord Cultural Resources with her husband Barry Lord in 1981 with the aim to deliver specialised planning services to the museum and cultural sector.

Since then, the firm has grown into one of the world’s leading cultural planning firms focused on museums, cultural districts and the creative economy. With headquarters in Toronto, it also has offices in New York, London, Mumbai and Beijing. It has now completed over 2,500 projects in 57 countries and 450 cities.

Lord has championed the idea of “Soft Power” and is an advocate of a close relationship between cities and museums, and the opportunity this gives museums to provide tangible public benefits. As such, she has worked with cities across the world to develop their museum hubs and cultural spaces, including Vienna, Salford, Bilbao, Chicago, Toronto, Ottawa and Johannesburg .

She also runs courses in cultural leadership, strategic planning and the application of soft power by cities and museums. Lord has also written six museum planning manuals with Barry Lord. Her most recent was “Cities, Museums and Soft Power”.

As one nominator said, “Every time I meet her on a project I’m amazed at her enthusiasm and encouragement for all members of the team. This enthusiasm is also matched with her encyclopaedic knowledge of what museums are doing globally and her understanding of all aspects of what people are looking for in a museum.”

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