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Luminaries of the media, creative and cultural industries to select Cultural Leadership Programme's list of 'Women to Watch' 2010

Seven eminent judges have been announced for the Cultural Leadership Programme’s prestigious ‘Women to Watch’ list, which will celebrate the achievements of some of the most ambitious and talented women in the cultural and creative industries.

The deadline for nominations is 29 January 2010, 12pm. Nominations can be completed online or a form can be downloaded at

The Women to Watch judges are: 

Jenni Murray

Chair, Presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour

"There are nowhere near enough women in positions of power and influence, whether it be in the cultural and creative industries or other sectors. We need to do everything we can to enable and encourage the next generation."  

Jenni is one of radio and television's most respected broadcasters. Her wide-ranging expertise in politics, business and the arts has led commentators to write admiringly of her "well-stocked mind". Her interviews with the powerful are described as "probing", "steely" and "no-nonsense", and her knowledge of the arts is matchless.

Born and educated in Barnsley, she has a degree in French and Drama from Hull University. She also has Honorary Doctorates from Bradford University and the Open University.

As the regular presenter of Radio 4's Woman's Hour since 1987, she has daily demonstrated her incredible range and depth and a unique ability to understand the feelings and complexities of those she interviews, talents she has also brought to BBC TV's Newsnight and Everyman and BBC Radio's Today and Tuesday Call.

Jenni is the author of Memoirs of a Not So Dutiful Daughter (2008); The Woman's Hour: A History of Women Since World War II and Is It Hot In Here?: A Modern Guide to the Menopause. She writes for numerous newspapers and magazines, including the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail.

Jenni is patron of the Breast Cancer Campaign, Family Planning Association and vice president of the Parkinson Disease Society. She also supports Organisations for Carers.


Photograph Steve Dubble

Dame Liz Forgan

Chair of Arts Council England.

"I hope that 'Women to Watch' will help to motivate a strong, dynamic and influential network of women leaders who will be key to shaping the future of the cultural and creative industries. Although there are currently several inspirational women in senior positions in the sector, leadership is still predominantly male, therefore it is important that we celebrate the work of emerging women who are thriving in their roles, and encourage them to reach the very top of their profession" 

Liz Forgan was appointed a Dame Commander of the British Empire for services to broadcasting and heritage in 2006.

Liz joined the National Heritage Memorial Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund as Chair in April 2001 and stood down at the end of her term in October 2008.

Following an early career in newspaper journalism, she moved to television with the start of Channel 4 where she became Director of Programmes. She joined the BBC as Managing Director of BBC Radio from 1993 to 1996

She is a Trustee of the British Museum, a patron of the St Giles Trust, a Vice-Patron and former Chair of the Churches Conservation Trust and also former Trustee of the Phoenix Trust. She is the Chair of the Scott Trust (the non-profit organisation which owns the Guardian Media Group).

Liz has been Chair of Arts Council England since February 2009.


Jenny Sealey

Artistic Director of disabled-led theatre company Graeae.

"I’m delighted to be a part of the Women to Watch judging panel. It’s vital that disabled and non disabled women from a diversity of backgrounds and experience are encouraged and inspired to play a leading role in the Arts, and I’m honoured to help establish the next generation of leaders." 

Jenny went to Middlesex Poly on the BA Performing Arts course, majoring in dance and choreography. On leaving in 1986 she became a founder member of the Common Ground Sign Dance Company. Jenny was also founder member of the now defunct London Disability Arts Forum, and oversaw the box office for the very first disabled ‘Workhouses’ Cabaret, She then went on to work as an actor with Graeae, Theatre Centre, Half Moon and Red Ladder.

She became Artistic Director of Graeae in 1998, Jenny has directed all of Graeae’s plays including Fittings: The Last Freakshow by Mike Kenny, The Changeling, Diary of an Action Man by Mike Kenny (a co-production with Unicorn Children’s Theatre), On Blindness by Glyn Cannon (with Paines Plough and Frantic Assembly).

Jenny was awarded an MBE in 2009 for services to disability arts, and has recently been appointed Artistic Advisor for Unlimited, the programme of work that will celebrate disability, arts, culture and sport as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.


Kwame Kwei-Armah

Kwame is a British actor, playwright, singer and broadcaster. He first came to prominence as paramedic Finlay Newton in Casualty (from 1999).

"From my own experience as an actor and playwright, it is crucial to have role models to look up to during the course of your career. This is why I think it is so important that the achievements of women from all backgrounds who are currently excelling in their roles are widely recognised. Hopefully by raising the profile of these emerging women through the list, it will provide role models for many more in the sector and inspire them to aim high, both now and in the future."

As a playwright his play Elmina's Kitchen was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play (2003) and won the Evening Standard's Charles Wintour Most Promising Playwright Award 2003.

Other awards include the Screen National Film and Television Award for Favourite TV Actor 2003. His second play Fix-Up was staged at the National Theatre in 2004. In 2005 he became the first black Briton to have a play staged in the West End when his award-winning piece Elmina's Kitchen transferred to the Garrick Theatre in 2005.



Rita Clifton

Chief Executive of branding consultancy Interbrand.

"There are so many savvy, creative and dynamic women working in cultural and creative professions, including advertising and design, who have the potential to go on to great things. That is why I’m pleased to be involved with this list, which aims to celebrate their work and help them to realise that the world is their oyster if they have drive and motivation." 

Rita graduated from Cambridge and began her career in advertising. She worked at Saatchi & Saatchi for 12 years, becoming Vice Chairman and Executive Planning Director in 1995.

In 1997 she joined Interbrand, the world’s leading brand consultancy, as Chief Executive in London; in January 2002 she became Chairman. She is in demand as a speaker and media commentator on all areas of brands, reputation, marketing and communications around the world. Her writing has included the book ‘The Future of Brands’, and The Economist book ‘Brands and Branding’.

She is a non-executive director of DSG International plc (formerly Dixons Store Group plc), and also chairs Populus, the opinion pollster to The Times. She has been a member of the Government’s Sustainable Development Commission and is on the Assurance and Advisory Board for BP’s carbon-offset programme ‘targetneutral’. In 2006, she was appointed Visiting Professor at Henley Business School, and a trustee of WWF (Worldwide Fund for Nature) in 2007. Most recently, she has been appointed President of the Market Research Society


Sarah Weir

Head of Arts and Cultural Strategy for the Olympic Delivery Authority 

"Playing a part in enabling some of the most imaginative, ambitious and talented women to fulfil more of their own potential is a joyful thing to be asked to do. We all flourish knowing that others have spotted us, are watching out for us, supporting us and helping us to succeed in whatever way we want that to be."

Sarah is Head of Arts and Cultural Strategy for the Olympic Delivery Authority, having recently completed an additional part-time role during 2008 as Launch Director of inaugural Open Weekend for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG). Prior to that, Sarah was Executive Director, Arts Council England, London, from April 2003. She was previously Executive Director of the Almeida Theatre from 1999 and project champion for the Almeida's Capital campaign.

Sarah started her career in the Lloyd's insurance market. She worked for Aldgate Group Brokers, where she rose to become their non-marine managing director. Following a change of career from business into the arts and a year working at Purdy Hicks Gallery, she moved to the Association of Business Sponsorship of the Arts (now Arts & Business) as head of their pairing scheme, becoming Deputy Director General in 1996. In 1997 Sarah moved to the Royal Academy of Arts as Head of Corporate Sponsorship, becoming Fundraising Director in 1999.


photograph Nick Mead

Wayne MacGregor

Multi award-winning dancer and choreographer 

Wayne is a multi award-winning British choreographer, renowned for his physically testing choreography and ground-breaking collaborations across dance, film, music, visual art, technology and science.

He was born in Stockport in 1970 and studied dance at University College, Bretton Hall and at the José Limon School in New York. In 1992 he founded his own company Wayne McGregor | Random Dance and in the same year was appointed choreographer-in-residence at The Place, London

In 2006 Wayne McGregor was appointed the Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet, the first modern dance maker to be given that post in the company’s history.

Outside the ‘pure’ fields of dance McGregor has directed opera for La Scala, Milan and choreographed movement for movies, plays, musicals and art galleries including site specific installations at the Hayward Gallery, Canary Wharf and the Pompidou Centre, movement for The National Theatre’s A Little Night Music and English National Opera’s Salome, movement for the Warner Bros. movie Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire and choreography for the opening ceremony of the 2009 World Swimming Championships in Rome. McGregor’s experiments have earned him a string of nominations and awards.