Claire Whitaker CBE
Claire is currently CEO of Southampton’s Culture Trust, having led Southampton’s shortlisted bid to be UK City of Culture 2025. Her role, which spans culture, events and destination, involves working with Southampton’s communities, cultural organisations, businesses, and academic partners locally and in the wider region. Previously, Claire was an Owner/Director of live music producers, Serious, which was known for its high-quality work and engagement with a diverse range of artists and communities across the UK and internationally. Claire is also an advisor on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, working with organisations across a range of sectors.
Claire has over 25 years of experience in executive and non-executive positions, including being a Trustee of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, a member of the Cultural Recovery Board, an Ambassador for the Mayor of London’s Cultural Leadership Board and a member of the Arts and Creative Industries Advisory Group for the British Council. Prior to Serious, Claire was a Director of Africa95, a cross art form celebration of the arts of Africa which took place across the UK and the African continent and which named President Nelson Mandela, President Leopoldo Senghor and Her Majesty the Queen as its patrons. After the first democratic elections in South Africa, Claire worked closely with the ANC on the country’s cultural strategy and helped establish Business Arts South Africa which had then Deputy President, Thabo Mbeki, as its inaugural Chair.
Claire’s expertise ranges from the creation and delivery of ambitious arts events and programmes, advising companies and organisations on equality, diversity and inclusion and the development of strategic partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders. She is actively involved in policy development across culture, civil society and placemaking.
Group Audit Committee
Customer & Community Network