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Deborah Bull joins King's College London

Posted on 05/12/2011

Deborah Bull

King’s College London is pleased to announce that Deborah Bull has accepted the newly created role of Executive Director, King’s Cultural Institute, and will join King’s in March 2012.
Deborah Bull brings to King’s extensive experience of, and significant success within, the arts. Following a twenty-year career with The Royal Ballet in which she rose through the ranks to perform leading roles across the repertoire, she joined the executive team of the Royal Opera House to establish ROH2, a programme of artist and art form development initiatives with innovation, creativity and partnership at its heart.  Since 2008, she has been Creative Director of the Royal Opera House, responsible for ROH Collections, ROH2 and a wide range of pan-organisational activity including the BP Summer Big Screens, Deloitte Ignite, audience engagement strategies and 2012 Olympic programming.  Deborah will continue to work closely with the Royal Opera House and LOCOG during the first months of her appointment to deliver a number of Cultural Olympiad activities, including The Olympic Journey.
In addition to her work at the Royal Opera House, Deborah has served as a Governor of both the South Bank Centre and the BBC and as a member of Arts Council England. She has written and presented several series for BBC television and radio, including the award-winning The Dancer’s Body, which explored dance from a scientific perspective. She writes and speaks on the arts across a range of media and is the author of four books. The most recent, The Everyday Dancer, was published by Faber in October 2011. She was named a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, 1999.
King’s Cultural Institute is a cross-disciplinary initiative with innovative collaboration across the cultural sector at its heart. As Executive Director, Deborah will provide leadership across the College in extending its already significant range of collaborative activities with the cultural and creative industries both within the UK and internationally, whilst negotiating new partnerships and brokering relationships between cultural institutions, academia and the arts in an academic setting.
Commenting on her appointment Professor Sir Richard Trainor, Principal of King’s, said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to welcome Deborah to King’s College London.  She brings with her an outstanding track record and we believe she has a huge contribution to make in building King’s already well-established links with the cultural and creative industries as well as drawing upon our academic expertise across the whole College.’
Deborah Bull said: ‘I am thrilled to be joining King’s as Executive Director, King’s Cultural Institute. This new role offers an exciting opportunity to contribute to King’s, the cultural sector and, more broadly, across society and the chance to work collaboratively to address some of the bigger issues culture faces in the 21st century.
‘While I will be sad to leave the Royal Opera House after such a long career within its family, I feel this is absolutely the right time for me to focus my energies on a new challenge. It has been a privilege to work with – and learn from – so many talented and passionately committed colleagues across opera and dance, and I’m very proud of what we have been able to achieve together.’
Tony Hall, Lord Hall of Birkenhead, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, said: ‘I’m very pleased for Deborah - but very sad to see her go. She’s made a huge contribution to the Royal Opera House, first as a principal dancer for The Royal Ballet, then as founder of ROH2 and, later, as our Creative Director.
‘The fact that the Linbury Studio Theatre now has a clear identity and purpose - producing some outstanding work – and that the Royal Opera House is involved with so many other organisations in the field of opera and dance is a great tribute to Deborah. Her role in transforming the Royal Opera House over the last decade has been enormous.’

Notes to Editors

Deborah Bull is available for interview. Please contact Anna Mitchell on 0207 848 3092 or at

King’s College London has a strategy to foster collaborative links with partners of excellence in order to deliver innovative research and teaching and ensure that the research excellence of its social sciences and arts and humanities has real impact on society and the economy.

King's enjoys unrivalled connections to world-class arts organisations, theatres, museums, libraries and archives across London. The College’s research strengths in Arts and Humanities and the cultural and creative industries have enriched collaboration with a number of major organisations including the National Theatre, Southbank Centre, the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Tate Modern, the British Library, the British Museum and the British Film Institute.

The College’s acquisition of the East Wing of Somerset House will provide a focal point and showcase for many of King’s cultural activities, when it opens in February 2012 following major refurbishment.

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