RAF Museum – Mapping the Future with new senior management team

Main Image: L-R: John Waxman; Philip Walsh; Maggie Appleton; Paul Pomfret and Karen Whitting

The Trustees of the Royal Air Force Museum have announced a new Senior Management Team who will oversee the day-to-day running and long-term planning for the London, Cosford and Stafford sites



Maggie Appleton MBE: Chief Executive Officer:
Maggie has twenty-five years’ experience in the heritage sector. She is passionate about the difference that museums can make to people’s lives and, after beginning her heritage career at the Royal Armouries (when it was based in the Tower of London) she focused her work in community museums, at Stevenage (1991-2003) and then and in Luton (2003-2008), following which she was Chief Executive of Luton Culture, the Charity that led museums, libraries, arts and community centres across the town. She has led significant heritage initiatives and developments, notably the £6.2million development of Stockwood Discovery Centre which opened in July 2008, and securing the medieval Wenlok Jug for Luton and the nation after its export was stopped in 2006. Maggie is committee member for the Heritage Lottery Fund, Vice President of the Museums Association, co-Chair of the Women Leaders in Museums Network and Museums + Heritage Awards Judge.

Paul Pomfret Assistant Director (Cosford):
Paul has a comprehensive career working in Heritage, Theatre and Tourists attractions. As Manager for the National Trust for Scotland’s flagship property: Culzean Castle and Country Park he oversaw and developed the 500 acre estate which included multiple historic buildings, numerous retail catering and hospitality locations and significant visitor engagement programmes. At Culzean his key projects included developing relations with international funders, restoring original features and artefacts to the castle, introducing new multimedia interpretation and refurbishment of the estates country house hotel.

Paul holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration is a fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing; he has a keen interest in aviation and gained his Private Pilot’s Licence in 1990.

John Waxman Assistant Director (London):
John has just arrived from the National Trust where for a number of years he was General Manager at Cliveden, one of the Trust’s busiest pay for entry visitor attractions. Prior to that, he worked in external relations, communications and advisory roles within the public environmental management sector. He is a lifelong aviation enthusiast.

Philip Walsh FCA: Chief Financial Officer:
Philip worked previously as Director of Finance and Operations at the Wallace Collection in Central London. During his time there as a member of the Senior Management Team, the Wallace Collection achieved record visitor numbers, improved retail and corporate hire revenues, and held significant high profile exhibitions all whilst managing an extensive programme of capital projects, including the magnificent £5m refurbishment of the Great Gallery. He is also the current chairman of trustees of the Allen Lane Foundation, a grant making charitable trust. Philip qualified as a chartered accountant after studying Natural Sciences at Durham University, and went on to work at the Victoria and Albert Museum prior to the Wallace Collection.

Karen Whitting Director of Public Programmes:
Karen’s career has spanned both the Arts and Heritage sector and she brings with her a wealth of creative and corporate experiences and skills. She was previously Head of Creative Programmes at the Royal Armouries where she was responsible for the creative content, development and delivery of capital programmes across all their sites. She was project manager for the £4 million HLF funded public engagement programme at Fort Nelson as well as the £1.5million White Tower development. Karen has also worked extensively on live events and interpretation with previous roles at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, the Millennium Dome and Glyndebourne Opera House.