The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

The Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees determines policy and, together with the Director and senior Gallery staff, sets the strategic direction for the National Portrait Gallery. It represents the Gallery externally and oversees its management, with the Trustees acting as guardians of the public interest.

The Board decides on acquisitions for the Primary Collection and major resource allocations. It monitors the Gallery’s performance and ensures the stewardship of public funds.

The National Portrait Gallery Board of Trustees has sixteen members. Two of the Trustees, the President of the Royal Academy and the Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons, are ex-officio Trustees and the remaining fourteen are appointed by the Prime Minister following an open public appointment process overseen by the Commissioner of Public Appointments. The Chair of the National Portrait Gallery Company, currently Christopher Townsend OBE, attends Board meetings as an independent co-opted Trustee.

National Portrait Gallery Trustees serve in a voluntary capacity and are unremunerated. They are usually appointed for four years and may be reappointed for a further term.

In line with the Museums and Galleries Act 1992, the Board chooses a Chair from among its own number.

David Ross, Chair of Trustees
Entrepreneur; Founder of the David Ross Education Trust

Roger Blundell FCA
Finance Director, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland

Dr Mark Cecil
Investment Advisor

Chris Grayling
Politician and Author, MP for Epsom and Ewell

Dr Joanna Kennedy OBE
Civil engineer and project manager

Marcus Harling
Partner, Burges Salmon LLP

The Rt Hon Jacob Rees-Mogg MP (Ex officio)
Leader of the House of Commons; Lord President of the Council

Rebecca Salter (Ex officio)

Bjorn Saven
Chairman of IK Investment Partners Limited

Sir Peter Stothard
Author and former Editor of The Times and The Times Literary Supplement

Christopher Townsend OBE (Co-opted)
Commercial Director, Chelsea Football Club

Dr Rachel Wang
Founder and Director of Chocolate Films

Professor Shearer West
Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Nottingham

Jonathan Yeo

A Register of Interests is kept up to date for each Trustee so that any potential conflicts of interest can be identified and managed. The Register of Trustees' interests is open to the public and may be consulted by contacting the Head of Governance ([email protected]).

Minutes of Board of Trustees Meetings

Minutes from 2004 onwards available online.

New minutes will be posted, following approval by the Board of Trustees.

Confidential and sensitive information will be excluded from the published minutes in accordance with data protection legislation and the Freedom of Information Act, 2000.


Our channel

View a wide collection of video content on our YouTube channel from past projects to our latest films.

Sit back and watch

Artist and sitter interviews

Get insights into creating portraiture from BP Portrait Award 2020 artists and their sitters.

Explore behind the scenes

Sleeping Awake

Watch our film created to say ‘goodbye’ to the Gallery before we closed for our major transformation project.

Hear our story