Leonie Bell has been made the new director of V&A Dundee, replacing Philip Long OBE, who led the development of the institution in Scotland.
Leonie Bell is currently strategic lead for the Future Paisley Partnership at Renfrewshire Council, where she leads Paisley’s cultural regeneration plans.
She is one of Scotland’s most experienced cultural leaders and has worked in a variety of leadership and senior management roles in government and the culture sector.
“Like so many, I have watched V&A Dundee flourish in its first two years, and it is a huge privilege to lead the museum into its next phase,” said Bell. “Its role now is greater than ever. The way we live, work, gather, communicate, share, learn and play is changing.
“The role of design in navigating this future is fundamental and V&A Dundee, with the wider design community, has a critical role to play as we adapt to, and debate, the ideas, influences and social and economic challenges of our time.”
Bell also chairs the advisory board of Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art and is a trustee of the Edinburgh International Festival.
V&A Dundee’s role ‘is greater than ever’
She replaces founding director of V&A Dundee, Philip Long OBE, who led the development of the institution, which opened in Scotland in September 2018.
Long recently took on the role of chief executive of National Trust for Scotland.
Tim Allan, chair of V&A Dundee’s board, said: “We are delighted that Leonie has accepted this leading role at V&A Dundee, leading its awakening from the COVID-19 lockdown into a new era.
“She is a very experienced, charismatic leader with a passionate background in design and what it can do for communities and places as well as enhancing our position in the world.
“Leonie was born in Dundee and grew up in nearby Fife. She has real authenticity, knowledge, energy and understanding of the museum, its importance to Dundee and Scotland, and of the cultural sector in Scotland and the UK.”
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop also congratulated Bell on her appointment, saying “the Scottish Government looks forward to working with her”.