Wednesday 26 May, 2021

Dame Lynne Brindley becomes new Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths’ Company

•    Dame Lynne Brindley, first woman CEO of the British Library and until recently, Master of Pembroke College, University of Oxford, has become Prime Warden (Chairs the Board) of the Goldsmiths’ Company.  
•    Lynne is the 694th Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths’ Company – a new Prime Warden is elected every year. She is the second woman to hold the office of Prime Warden in the Company’s history.
•    Lynne has served on various Boards including Ofcom, the UK communications and media regulator; City, University of London Council; and presently the Wolfson Trust, Heritage, Humanities and Arts Committee.
•    Lynne became a Freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company and the City of London in 1989; and became a Liveryman in 1993.

The Goldsmiths’ Company is delighted to announce that Dame Lynne Brindley has taken office as Prime Warden, in succession to Richard Fox, one of the country’s leading silversmiths. Lynne has spent most of her career in higher education and in the cultural sector, championing public sector innovation and cultural change through harnessing digital technologies and broadening access to knowledge.

Her primary objectives for her year in office will be: helping improve access to the treasures of the Company’s Collection and Archives through digital strategy and resources; building on work to address equity, diversity and inclusion in the Company and in the craft and trade of jewellers and silversmiths; and inspiring future generations into a career in the industry by improving accessibility and inclusivity.

A pivotal moment in Lynne’s pioneering career came after she completed her MA at University College London in Library & Information Science and started work at the British Library, where she was “catapulted into the Board Chairman’s Office,” exposing her to top level policy making and strategy from a young age.

In the 1980s, Lynne quickly established a reputation in the higher education sector after leading on the development of the UK’s first ‘electronic campus’ at Aston University as Pro-Vice-Chancellor, gaining significant industrial and government investment for a high-speed broadband network – a radical innovation at the time. 

After a move to KPMG as a senior management consultant, Lynne returned to higher education, first to the London School of Economics as Director of Information Services and then to Leeds University as Pro-Vice-Chancellor and University Librarian. While at Leeds she led a ground-breaking national knowledge-sharing initiative to provide rich digital content including journals and books, free at the point of use for all students and researchers across the UK, helping to overcome a moment of crisis for an underfunded and overstretched university system.

A highlight of a career spent championing equality of access to the world’s knowledge was her return to the British Library in 2000 as its first woman CEO. At a critical point in the library’s history, Lynne helped oversee a major shift in its culture – not without controversy – modernising its approach as one of the country’s great institutions, shifting perceptions of exclusivity and making it more open and accessible to researchers and students as well as entrepreneurs through a new Business & IP Centre.  These achievements were recognised through many honorary degrees and election as Fellow of the British Academy.

Lynne’s renowned experience of opening up institutions was also important to Pembroke College when she became the first woman Master in 2013. With a shared and deep commitment to widening access to education, Lynne brought the opportunity and possibility of studying at Oxford University to young people of talent from socially disadvantaged backgrounds from schools and colleges across the country, encouraging diversity of applications at all levels.

Commenting on her election as Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths’ Company and the year ahead, Lynne says: 

“I’m incredibly excited and proud to take office as Prime Warden as we emerge from a year that has accelerated an already ambitious Company agenda. I look forward to building on the success of our digital capabilities, overseeing a new digital strategy and increasing the accessibility of our Collection and Archive, highlighting the richness of these hidden treasures, and telling stories that educate and inspire the next generation of craftspeople. 

The year ahead will also hold opportunities to embed the Company’s vision for equity, diversity, and inclusion, both in the trade and in the Company itself, as we review and renew our commitments and develop policies to introduce actionable short and long-term measures – ensuring we translate aspiration into action.”

Learn more about our Prime Warden 

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