Neil MacGregor has been Director of the British Museum since August 2002 and has devoted particular attention to developing the Museum’s regional and international activities. He is Chair of the World Collections Programme – a DCMS funded initiative to establish partnerships between six major cultural institutions in the UK and institutions in Asia and Africa.
Neil sits on the Board of the National Theatre and the International Advisory Board of the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. In his current and his previous role as Director of the National Gallery, Neil worked closely with BBC radio and television to bring the collections to the widest possible public. Neil read French and German at New College, Oxford, and studied philosophy at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. He took an LLB in Law at the University of Edinburgh and was called to the Scottish Bar.
He then decided to study 17th- and 19th-century art at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, and for six years was a lecturer in the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Reading and a part-time lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art. In 1981, he became editor of the arts periodical The Burlington Magazine and in 1987 became Director of the National Gallery.