Vikki Heywood to become RSA chair

Vikki Heywood, the outgoing executive director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, is to become the new chair of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.

Heywood leaves the RSC in September and will become RSA chair at the society’s AGM in October, subject to ratification by RSA fellows. She will succeed Luke Johnson.

Heywood said: “Following the many achievements of Luke Johnson, I am delighted to have been invited to become the chair of the RSA. I am looking forward enormously to taking up my post in October and working with [chief executive] Matthew Taylor, the staff, board and fellowship to fulfill the ambitions of this influential organisation.

“The 27,000 strong fellowship of the RSA represents a talented and diverse community, who rightly expect a great deal from their society. I am committed to exploring every opportunity to work together to achieve our stated ambition of a more principled and prosperous society.”

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The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, London. Photo: Noel Foster