Farewell Emma!

Emma Chaplin stepping down as AIM Director.  

Emma Chaplin will be stepping down from her role as AIM Director at the end of March 2021. An AIM Council member from 2003 to 2014, Emma took up the role in 2018, going on to oversee a period of rapid development for the organisation including a team restructure, bringing in new staff, initiating a range of dynamic new partnerships and developing well-received initiatives and programmes. Speaking of her decision Emma said

“I am proud of the way that AIM has strengthened its support and advocacy for its members not least during this last year and in the face of the exceptional challenges COVID has brought.  As an organisation, partner, and team I believe AIM has developed markedly in recent times. “

Prior to her role with AIM, Emma held curatorial and senior management roles in independent and local authority museums before setting up as a highly respected consultant, a role she is looking to return to later in the year.

“My intention has always been to return to my consultancy business when I felt I had brought about positive change and when AIM would be in a strong position for someone else to lead it through its next phase of development.”

Responding to the news, the AIM team highlighted how much they will miss Emma’s leadership and professionalism, her deep understanding of the heritage sector, approachability, and irrepressible humour. AIM Chair, Andrew Lovett, added

“It has been a privilege to work alongside Emma since taking-up the Chair last summer. Emma is rightly proud of what has been achieved for the sector and specifically AIM members under her leadership. No one has achieved more. She has also developed the organisation to great effect and brought on great new staff. My role as Chair and that of the Board – during some very testing times – has been an awful lot easier and more impactful because of Emma’s experience, candour, approach, determination and good humour. I wish Emma every possible good fortune with what I know will continue to be a full and rewarding life. Thank you. “

Acting Director of Arts, Heritage and Tourism at DCMS, Helen Whitehouse said

“On behalf of all of us in DCMS who have worked with Emma over the last three years, I send huge thanks for everything she has done with us, and a big well done for everything she has achieved in that time. AIM is an important stakeholder for us, which has continued to develop as a sector body under Emma’s leadership, and she has been an excellent advocate not only for AIM members but also the wider museums sector. Her engagement, views and advice has helped inform a number of DCMS policy areas, most notably within the last year. Emma has worked tirelessly to respond to sector need and has been instrumental in our COVID19 response work including the Culture Recovery Fund.”

Kate Bellamy, Director of Museums. Arts Council England said

“Working with Emma is always a joy. She brings energy, sparkle and passion and she is a relentless champion for independent museums. She will be missed at AIM and can take pride in the difference she has made.”

Suzie Tucker, National Museums Directors Council added

“Emma has made an incredible contribution to the museum sector during her time at AIM. Under her direction AIM has been a key partner for NMDC, working on a huge range of issues from reforming the business rates system to supporting the sector through the COVID crisis and advocating to government for museums. Emma’s expertise, generosity and passion for museums make her a joy to work with and she will be sorely missed, but I’m delighted she’s staying in the sector and will no doubt continue to do great things to support museums.”

Recruitment for Emma’s successor will shortly be underway.