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Sir John Soane’s Museum has appointed Lord Sassoon as Chair of the Board of Trustees. Lord Sassoon will begin his five-year term on 1st February 2022, following the tenure of outgoing Chair, Guy Elliott. 

James Sassoon brings to the Board of Sir John Soane’s Museum extensive business acumen, international leadership, political expertise and a long involvement and interest in the arts.

Vincent Keaveny, Lord Mayor of London, Soane Trustee and Chair of the Museum’s search committee, comments:

'The trustees are delighted that our search for a new chair culminated with the appointment of James Sassoon.  His work in the culture and museum world, his public service and private sector experience will be hugely valuable, but he also brings a lifelong knowledge of the Soane and the museum sector to the role. He is a worthy successor to Guy Elliott, who has led the board with great skill, dedication and integrity through a period of growth and much change at the Soane.  On behalf of all of the trustees, I would like to thank Guy for all he has done for the Museum over the past 10 years.'

Bruce Boucher, Deborah Loeb Brice Director, comments:

‘I wish to extend a warm welcome to James Sassoon as he becomes our new Chair. The combination of his experience in business and his passion for the arts have led him to be a distinguished trustee of many arts entities. I look forward to working closely with him in the coming years. I also join the trustees of Sir John Soane’s Museum in acknowledging the sterling service of Guy Elliott’.

Lord Sassoon comments:

’I am so happy to be joining the Soane Museum - the world’s finest monument to the work, daily life and interests of a single creative genius. John Soane’s passions ran from ancient civilisations to contemporary art and design, which makes the Museum not just a great place to visit but also a lively contributor to today’s art and architecture scene.’


Lord Sassoon Kt is President of the China-Britain Business Council and a Trustee of the Trent Park Museum Trust.

After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, James joined investment bank SG Warburg in 1985. From 2002 to 2013 he was in HM Treasury as a civil servant, advisor and, from 2010, a Minister as the first Commercial Secretary to the Treasury. From 2013 to 2020 he was an Executive Director of Jardine Matheson Holdings. 

Previous arts and not-for-profit experience includes as Chairman of the ifs School of Finance, Deputy Chair of the British Museum and as a Trustee of the National Gallery Trust and of the Gerald Coke Handel Foundation.