Karen Napier Announced As Chief Executive of English National Ballet

October 9, 2012

Press Releases

Karen Napier Announced As Chief Executive of English National Ballet

English National Ballet today announced the appointment of Karen Napier as Chief Executive, commencing 1 February, 2013. Karen is currently Associate Dean, Advancement, at London Business School.

Speaking to English National Ballet staff today, Karen said: “I think that English National Ballet is the most exciting company in theUKarts scene today and I feel privileged to have the chance to lead it. Building on its remarkable history, I want to enable its brilliant dancers and artistic team and the whole organisation to unlock even greater potential and bring exciting ballet, both classics and new commissions, to engage an ever-widening audience.”

John Talbot, Chair of English National Ballet, said: “Karen combines a deep knowledge and understanding of the dance and cultural world with an outstanding track record as a business leader.  She has the ideal qualities and experience to take the helm of English National Ballet at this most exciting time in its history.  Karen will join Tamara Rojo, our new Artistic Director, in a formidable and dynamic partnership.”

Karen will work alongside Tamara Rojo, who joined as Artistic Director in September 2012, to implement the strategy and artistic vision of the company. Tamara said: “I can’t wait for Karen to join the company.  We share a vision and ambition for English National Ballet and together we can make this great company even greater”.

Karen joined London Business School in 2008. She is a key member of its Executive Committee which provides strategic leadership and direction to the organisation.

With a background in arts and culture, Karen moved into management as Development Manager of Rambert Dance Company in 1992, then onto English National Opera in 1996 as Head of Corporate and Trust Giving in 1996.  In 1999 Karen joined the Southbank Centre Hayward Gallery to establish and lead its first development department.  Promoted to Director of Development in 2003, she created the fundraising strategy for the £111m Transformation Campaign, exceeding its original £54m and culminating in the spectacular re-opening of the Royal Festival Hall in 2007.

Karen is a founder trustee of the Hofesh Shechter Dance Company, a trustee of London International Festival of Theatre, of CASE Europe (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education) and is a member of the ROSS Group.  She is a Fellow of the RSA, a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, the Association of Project Management and has studied at Columbia Business School.

In her role as Chief Executive Karen will be responsible for developing the company’s strategic and financial policies in order to maximise resources and realise the company’s artistic objectives.

As part of the announcement of the appointment of the new Chief Executive, the English National Ballet Board expressed its thanks to Michael Dixon for his sterling work as interim Managing Director in addition to his ongoing work as Finance Director. Michael will be an important member of Karen’s executive leadership team.

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