York Museums Trust announces appointment of a new Chief Executive

York Museums Trust is delighted to announce the appointment of Kathryn Blacker as its next Chief Executive, following the recent departure of Reyahn King who has moved to the National Trust for Scotland.

[Credit: Duncan Lomax/Ravage Productions]

Kathryn Blacker is currently Chapter Steward at York Minster where she has worked for the last nine years. During that time Kathryn has led on the transformation ofthe lay workforce, overseen projects to diversify income, ensure financial and environmental sustainability, implemented systems to understand audiences and business better and led a programme to invest in the wider estate. Prior to her role at York Minster Kathryn worked in the cultural sector for 15 years, initially at the BBC as part of the team which delivered BAFTA Interactive award-winning programmes and later at the Science Museum Group where she led on public activities, exhibitions and events as Deputy Director of the National Science and Media Museum at Bradford.

James Grierson, Chair of York Museums Trust, said:
“ We are delighted to welcome Kathryn Blacker as Chief Executive at the Trust. We had some really exceptional candidates and Kathryn impressed us all with her ability, experience and commitment. Kathryn’s depth and breadth of experience and her commitment to connecting culture to communities and audiences will support the Trust in its ambitions and on the next stage of its journey. “

Kathryn Blacker, incoming Chief Executive of York Museums Trust,said:
“I am very excited to be joining York Museums Trust and building on the positive foundations Reyahn King has left in place. I will miss the colleagues at York Minster who have become close friends, the support I have found in the wider cathedral network and the sense of contributing to something bigger than us all. However, I am looking forward to getting to know, to be inspired and challenged by a new group of people, and offering the same in return. I am passionate about the opportunity available through the Trust’s collections, buildings, gardens and art to share our stories with an ever widening range of individuals and communities.”

The Revd Canon Michael Smith, Acting Dean of York said:
“Kathryn has made a massive contribution to our life and the way that we work at York Minster. In addition to her undoubted abilities as a manager and a strategic thinker, we have all benefited from her humanity, empathy and approachability. Kathryn has always rejoiced when valued members of our team have moved onwards and upwards in their careers, even when that has left us with the challenge of replacing an excellent colleague. So I believe I speak on behalf of the whole Minster community in thanking Kathryn for all that she has contributed to the life of York Minster and wishing her well for the future at the York Museums Trust.”

The Very Revd Dominic Barrington, Dean of York designate said:
“I have only had a brief chance to get to know Kathryn, but it is clear to me that her leadership of the Minster has been transformative and has played a vital role in its development in recent years. While I regret that I will not have the opportunity to work alongside her, I am delighted that she has been offered such a significant appointment, and I wish her every success in her new role.”

Kathryn Blacker will join York Museums Trust full-time at the beginning of 2023