Graham Sheffield to leave the British Council

Graham Sheffield is stepping down as director of arts at the British Council from June. Sheffield has held the post for seven years, and has been a vocal opponent of Brexit and its impact on the UK’s international standing.

During Sheffield’s tenure the British Council has expanded its cultural offering, and now reaches 731 million people annually. He led programmes such as Shakespeare Lives, a international series of events marking 400 years since Shakespeare’s death in 2016.

Sir Ciarán Devane, chief executive at the British Council said, “I would like to thank Graham for his leadership of our global arts programme and the transformation of our work and reputation across the Arts scene.” He added that they would begin the search for Sheffield’s replacement.

Prior to working at the British Council, Sheffield spent a short time as CEO of West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong and had a successful 15-year term as artistic director of the Barbican Centre in London.

Sheffield will continue in his role as chair of charity Help Musicians UK.