Conservation charity the National Trust for Scotland has announced Philip Long as the successor to current chief executive Simon Skinner, who is set to retire this summer.

“The Trust is invaluable to our nation. The buildings and landscape in its care, which it makes accessible to millions of visitors every year, are truly world-class, defining our country’s heritage, culture and identity at its most outstanding,” Long stated as the announcement was made.

“I am looking forward immensely to joining the Trust’s team and am fortunate to be succeeding Simon Skinner, who I would like to thank for his outstanding work.”

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Who is Philip Long?

The V&A Dundee’s founding director, Long led the development of the museum from its earliest planning to grand opening in September 2018. His tenure also included the landmark achievements of welcoming one million visitors in 500 days and delivering a £75 million boost to the Scottish economy.

Prior to joining V&A Dundee he was senior curator at the National Galleries of Scotland and has worked on international projects such as curating Scotland’s presentation at the 2007 Venice Biennale.

Long is an honorary professor at the University of Dundee, an honorary research fellow at St Andrews University, a member of the British Council’s Arts and Creative Economy Committee, and a Board member of Creative Scotland.

He received a unique award for Transforming Scotland from the Institute of Directors in 2019 and an OBE in the 2020 New Year’s Honours List for services to Culture and Heritage.

Discussing the appointment, Sir Mark Jones, chairman of the National Trust for Scotland, noted: “His background in Scottish art and design is impeccable and his proven leadership skills, with which he led the V&A Dundee project to an acclaimed conclusion, will be a considerable asset to us as we face the challenges of the future.”

Adding his gratitude to the outgoing chief executive, Jones said: “Simon’s contribution to the reform and modernisation of the Trust over the last five years has been immense and his leadership skills have shone through yet again during the current public health emergency.”

V&A Dundee, designed by Kengo Kuma © Ross Fraser McLean

The search for Long’s successor at V&A Dundee will begin immediately. This process will be led by chair of the museum’s board Tim Allan, who describes the role as an “exceptional opportunity to shape the next exciting chapter for the museum and its continuing impact in Dundee and Scotland”.

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