York Museums Trust Trustees


James Grierson – YMT Chair

James Grierson is a Chartered Surveyor with more than 35 years’ experience in private practice. After qualifying with Knight Frank in London, James moved to York in the early 1980s to focus on retail-led town centre regeneration schemes across the North. He built and led the UK’s largest specialist public sector real estate advisory practice and has worked on large and complex property-related projects across the central government, local authority, health and education sectors and for international companies. James was an Equity Partner and Board Member of Donaldsons, a 1,000 strong international practice, and, following the sale of the firm in 2007, was Head of Consultancy & Public Sector with DTZ Plc. He now has a portfolio of non executive, consultancy and trustee roles in the commercial, regulatory, government, charitable, heritage and university sectors . James is an habitual art gallery and museum visitor and loves finding endless new treasures in collections he feels he knows well; James became a trustee in 2014 and board Chairman in 2018. He is married to Liz, lives in Copmanthorpe and has four grown up daughters.

Dr Angela Dean

Angela Dean spent 25 years in international finance, mainly as a Managing Director with the American investment bank, Morgan Stanley, where she ran global technology research. Angela now has a portfolio of non-executive and trustee roles in the heritage, education and communications sectors. She is a former trustee of the Heritage Lottery Fund and of the Museums Libraries and Archives Council, and a member of the Postal Museum’s Audit and Finance Committee. She chairs International House, one of the largest independent organisations for language teaching and training, and is a member of Council for King’s College London. She is a non-executive board member of Ofcom. Hailing from York, Angela has a degree in Modern History and a doctorate in 17th-century English politics from Oxford University. She remains fascinated by the early modern and medieval periods, and is keen to help increase appreciation of the ways people lived in earlier times. Angela joined the trust in 2017 and chairs its Castle Capital Project board; she loves the carved faces of the 15th century church roof bosses in the Yorkshire Museum, reminders of our vibrant pre-Reformation everyday art.

Miranda Lowe

Miranda is Museum Scientist and Principal Curator at the Natural History Museum where she has worked for 30 years.  She has impressive public engagement as well as curatorial experience and is the founder of the Museum Detox network of BAME museum professionals.  She is the London representative of the Museums Association, has been a very hands-on and enthusiastic fund-raiser and is the NHM Branch Rep for the Prospect Union.

Scott Furlong

Scott has a curatorial/collections background at the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle, Royal Museums Greenwich and Chatham Historic Dockyard and most recently as Director, Collections & Cultural Property at Arts Council England.  He has excellent capital projects experience, is an acknowledged collections expert and his 8 years at ACE have given him huge insight into museums and cultural policy and very extensive connections across the sector.

Andrew Scott CBE

Andrew Scott, CBE, is a former director of the National Railway Museum and the London Transport Museum. Now retired, Andrew originally trained and practised as a Chartered Civil Engineer while an active volunteer for the heritage sector. This led to appointments in museum development and curation posts in Wakefield and in Bradford before becoming Director of the London Transport Museum. He was appointed as Director of the National Railway Museum in 1994, a role he held for fifteen years before finishing his career with a year as Interim Chief Executive of the NRM’s parent Science Museum Group, responsible for the Science Museum, Bradford’s National Media Museum and National Railway Museum. Andrew has been a Board member of York Civic Trust since 2012, Chair from 2015 -2019 and is currently Hon. President. He is Deputy Chair of the North York Moors Historical Railway Trust and a Board Member of the North York Moors National Park Authority. He is a Fellow of the Museums Association, a lifelong member of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society and in 2006 was awarded the CBE for services to museums. 

Keith Nesbitt

Keith brings with him a wealth of business knowledge. Having had a long career firstly with Asda where he was a retail Managing Director before becoming Retail Change Director, he then moved to T.M.Lewin to take up the role of Chief Operating Officer. Here he oversaw the growth of the UK store estate as well as leading business change programmes enabling the business to grow rapidly. In both roles he led capital projects. Since leaving his business life he has helped new and emerging businesses. In 2018 he joined the YME as a board member and the Princes Trust. In his role with Princes Trust he is helping young entrepreneurs to start their own businesses through the delivery of their Explore Enterprise Programme allowing young people to understand how business works and if it is right for them and then working as a Business Mentor once they have launched their business.

Azra Kirkby

Azra is a Chartered Accountant with more than 25 years’ experience. Born in York, Azra studied Agricultural Economics at Newcastle University before becoming a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse Coopers in London. Returning home, Azra became a Finance Director at Persimmon Homes before moving into the Charitable Sector. With extensive experience working nationally within the social and health care sectors, Azra is now the CEO at St Anne’s Community Services in Leeds. Azra has previously supported the York children’s orchestra ‘Yorchestra’ and is also a director and trustee at the Voluntary Organisation for Disability Groups, supporting the national social care sector. Azra joined the Trust in 2020 within the Audit & Risk Committee before becoming a full board member in 2022. She has a real love for the Castle Museum and for the Museum Gardens, having fond memories of playing in the once named ‘peacock park’. Azra lives in York with her daughter.

David Lamb

David was born in North Wales. After taking a First in English at Cambridge, he went on to join the J Walter Thompson advertising agency where his first assignment (Smarties and Kit Kat) brought him to York.  

Various roles at JWT and Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO followed on both sides of the Atlantic, culminating in Worldwide Head of Strategy in for JWT based in New York. In 2009, David took a complete change of direction as Managing Director of Tswalu Kalahari, South Africa’s largest game reserve, a conservation project supported by sustainable tourism; there he repositioned the reserve, transformed its guest experience and articulated its importance, particularly in preserving South Africa’s critically endangered black rhino population.  

Back into a more conventional marketing and management role, David became Managing Director of the World Gold Council, swapping buffalo for bullion. Finally, he started his own brand strategy consultancy, Kinnerton 358 Ltd (named after a critical communications medium in his early rural life – his first phone number). David’s clients now include a range of luxury goods including De Beers, for whom he created Lightbox, the leading brand of laboratory-grown diamonds. David retains his links with the Kalahari as a non-executive Director of Tswalu but now lives in York where his passions include tennis, art and discovering this spectacular city.  

Justine Andrew

Justine is a partner at KPMG where she has worked for over 20 years, coming from industry before that. Based out of Leeds, she has a national role as Head of Education and Skills and also Head of KPMG’s University Partnership Team.  

In this role, she leads our work with some of the largest Education providers nationally as well as being at the forefront of our work in the skills space. In her University Partnership role she is thinking differently about how providers and employers can work together across a range of areas.  She has a particular interest in the economic development of ‘place’ and the role of collaboration to achieve that and was part of the leadership of a 2 year programme in Leeds run by MIT (MIT REAP) to encourage innovation-led development. As an English Literature graduate, Justine is a firm believer in the role of culture and the arts as fundamental to the attractiveness of a place and the wellbeing of its residents.  Though from Liverpool, Justine is a long-time resident of York where she lives with her husband and two teenage daughters. 

Justine was, until Summer 22, Senior Independent Governor at Leeds Trinity University, Chair of RemCo and a member of the Audit Committee. Justine was also a director of York Mediale for 2 years.  

Nicole Fowler

Nicole Fowler is a seasoned Cyber, Information Security & Risk Leader with over two decades of experience in financial services, professional services, and start-ups. Armed with an Executive MBA from a Russell Group University, she excels in guiding organizations of diverse sizes and sectors to their strategic goals. As Chief Information Security Officer (UK) at Bank of Ireland, she plays a pivotal role in aligning the UK Cyber Strategy and supporting the Board in meeting regulatory obligations.Notably, Nicole serves as a trustee for prominent cultural institutions, including Thackray Medical Museum, where she chairs the Finance Audit and Risk Committee and York Museums Trust. Her trustee roles reflect a commitment to preserving cultural heritage and contributing strategic oversight to these institutions. A member of the UK Government Cyber Advisory Board and trusted advisor in various capacities, Nicole brings her wealth of knowledge to empower organizations and contribute to societal initiatives.


Beyond her corporate achievements, Nicole is a passionate STEM advocate, having established a STEM Outreach program and a STEM Education Company. She actively engages in marine conservation efforts and has been a long serving school governor, leaving an indelible mark in the realms of cybersecurity, education, and cultural preservation.

Jonny Crawshaw

Having grown up in York, Cllr Jonny Crawshaw’s first paid job was telling the history and culture of our wonderful city from open-top tour buses! Leaving York to complete a degree in Social Policy, he then spent several years working as a freelancer in the music industry. After a brief spell as an NHS manager, he returned to York in 2009 and was first elected to represent Micklegate Ward in 2017. During his time on the Council Jonny has been an advocate for the cultural and creative industries, as well as being an observer to the board of York Theatre Royal. He has spent four years as Chair of the Council’s Statutory Scrutiny Committee (2019-2023) and is the current Chair of the Council’s Planning Committee A. Jonny is a Primary School Governor and in 2019 became a founding member of The Collective Sharehouse – a take-as-you-need community food support initiative which now serves upwards of 100 households per week. He is a full-time dad to two school-age children and despite it no longer being a professional interest, remains an avid record collector.

Robert Newport

Robert has over twenty years experience in finance, sales and operations, initially for Nestlé and currently for Gear4music, the UK’s largest musical instruments and equipment retailer.  He studied Economics at Nottingham University then qualified as a chartered management accountant, working in finance roles around the UK before moving into sales leadership roles with Nestlé.  He is currently the Gear4music Operations Director overseeing six ecommerce distribution centres in five European countries.   

Robert is a proud York resident and is a Trustee for York Rescue Boat and a local school Governor.  He has fond memories of visiting the Castle museum as a schoolboy travelling from Wakefield and visiting the Museum Gardens as a teenager.  Since moving to York in 2010 he lives adjacent to the gardens and enjoys spending time there with his wife and children, watching the Mystery Plays and occasionally attending Hospitium events.  Robert brings to the Trustee Board his involvement in launching and growing international businesses, day-to-day knowledge of the evolution of the digital economy and familiarity with rigorous corporate governance requirements. 

Danny Myers

Danny Myers is a Labour Councillor at City of York Council representing the Clifton Ward and is chair of the city’s Council’s Health, Housing and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee. Danny is also involved with Clifton Backies Management Board, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Panel and York City Charities. He is the co-founder of Clifton Local History Group, a founding committee member of the Lanes Community Garden and a founding member of York Unlocked.