Helen Boaden to leave Stephen Joseph Theatre to be chair of York Theatre Royal

Helen Boaden: new chair at York Theatre Royal

HELEN Boaden is joining York Theatre Royal as the new chair of the board of trustees.

She takes over from Ann Green CBE, pro-chancellor and chairman of the governing body of York St John University, who had held the post since July 2014.

Helen will step down as chair of the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, where she has served as a board trustee since 2015, the last six in the chair’s post.

She has extensive leadership experience in creative organisations, including more than 30 years at the BBC, where, among a range of roles, she was controller of Radio 4 and the first woman to run BBC News. More recently she sat on the Council of the Royal Academy of Arts.

“I am delighted and honoured to have been asked to be the chair of the board of trustees at York Theatre Royal,” said Helen. “I have seen first-hand the impact that York Theatre Royal has both locally and nationally and I am looking forward to working with trustees and staff as we embark on the next chapter in the life of this important and historic theatre.”

“The wealth of experience that Helen brings is invaluable to us and will bring fresh perspective as we explore and redefine our work for the future,” says York Theatre Royal chief executive Paul Crewes. Picture: Charlie Kirkpatrick

Theatre Royal chief executive Paul Crewes said: “We are excited to welcome Helen Boaden this month to York Theatre Royal as chair of the board of trustees. The wealth of experience that Helen brings is invaluable to us and will bring fresh perspective as we explore and redefine our work for the future – reimagining ourselves artistically and financially as a producing theatre at the heart of our community.”

Helen spent most of her career at the BBC, starting as a reporter and producer in BBC local and commercial radio in Leeds, before ending on the BBC executive board as the first female director of BBC News and then director of BBC Radio.

After leaving full-time employment, Helen sat as a non-executive on several boards, including Royal Academy of Arts (2017-2023); UK Statistics Authority (2019-2022); Richard Dimbleby Cancer Fund (2017-2023) and Stockroom Theatre Company (2018- 2021). Helen was chair of the funding panel for the Audio Content Fund from 2019 to 2022.

Alongside her new role as chair of the York Citizens’ Theatre Trust, Helen will continue as chair at the Windsor Leadership Trust and National Statistician’s Advisory Group on Data Ethics and as an advisory board member at Shorenstein Centre on Media, Politics and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and the University of Coventry, Scarborough campus. She is patron of Books by the Beach in Scarborough and president of HF Holidays.