National Archives seeks chief exec 'as it embarks on transformational decade'

£145,000 job involves overseeing "creation and preservation of the historical record of the UK and Welsh governments"
Photo: Credit: Crown Copyright/Open Government Licence v3.0

By Sam Trendall

06 Nov 2023

The National Archives is seeking a new chief executive to lead a transformation programme intended to enable delivery of “near-contemporary digital records at scale”.

During their tenure – for an initial four-year term – the chief exec will also oversee the organisation’s “single biggest transfer in our history, which will involve the ingestion of historical records of about 10 million former military service personnel.

Alongside which, work will take place to establish a second major site for the National Archives, to join its headquarters in Kew, in west London (pictured above).

Replacing incumbent chief exec and archive keep Jeff James – who is leaving the organisation next summer at the end of his second five-year term – the organisation is seeking to appoint “an inspirational leader with a breadth of expertise to confidently and credibly lead The National Archives as it embarks on a transformational decade”.

“You will guide and supervise the creation and preservation of the historical record of the UK and Welsh governments,” the job advert said.

“You will have a duty to preserve and provide trusted, definitive information resources, including official publications such as and the Gazettes, through various media including emerging technology and social platforms. You will lead the enhancement of the user experience across the organisation’s diverse audiences, continually improving access to our world-renowned records and our offer to government.

"We are increasingly recognised for our public engagement work from exhibitions to public talks, through podcasts and school visits. Under your leadership we will grow the number of people who encounter and benefit from the experience of archives.”

The successful candidate will lead about 550 full-time-equivalent staff, and manage an annual budget of £50m.

Applications for the role, which comes with a yearly salary of £145,000, are open until 11.55pm on 12 November.

The National Archives operates as a non-ministerial department, hosted by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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