Dame DIANE LEES has announced she will step down as Director-General of Imperial War Museum (IWM) at the end of March 2023.
Lees joined IWM in 2008 when she became the museum’s first female Director-General. Over the course of her fourteen-year leadership, she led IWM through one of the most transformative periods in its 105-year history, redeveloping its branches through more than £90m of fundraising and investment.
During her tenure, Lees placed IWM at the forefront of the nation’s First World War Centenary Commemorations with the opening of IWM London’s First World War Galleries in 2014. She also led the redevelopment of IWM Duxford’s American Air Museum in 2016 and the recent completion of IWM London’s Second World War and The Holocaust Galleries in 2021.
Lees was awarded a CBE in January 2015 and received her damehood at the start of this year for services to museums.
“The museum, and the sector more generally, have undergone huge change since I began in 2008 and I feel proud to have been at the helm throughout this significant period,” Lees said.
“I have had the privilege to have worked with so many incredible IWM staff, trustees, partners, veterans and Holocaust survivors, who have made being Director-General a rewarding and extraordinary experience.”
The recruitment of IWM’s new Director-General will begin immediately and will be guided by IWM’s Board of Trustees, with the formal appointment made by the Prime Minister.