Executive Director of Museums
Janet is Director of Museums at National Museums Liverpool, including World Museum, Museum of Liverpool, Merseyside Maritime Museum, the International Slavery Museum and Seized! (the Border Force national collection and museum). She is responsible for the collections and curatorial teams for our museum venues. As well as the museums her remit also includes other buildings on the waterfront, including the Canning Graving Docks.
Janet joined National Museums Liverpool in 1997 as curator of social and community history and, from 2000, headed the successful Museum of Liverpool Life. She led the content and interpretation teams creating the Museum of Liverpool, which opened under her directorship in 2011. She is a strong advocate for, and practitioner of, participative and partnership working in museums.
Janet has worked in history museums since 1988. Her career started with the Greater Manchester Archaeological Unit, followed by the Lake District Art Gallery and Museum Trust where she ran the Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry and was a founding member of Kendal Oral History Society. After spending a year travelling internationally, she moved to the Potteries Museum in Stoke-on-Trent to be senior assistant keeper of community history.
Her experience and expertise include: delivering high profile and complex projects and exhibitions, developing teams, speaking nationally and internationally on participative working, developing strategic partnerships and advocating for museums with a people-based/storytelling approach. She believes that responsive, relevant and meaningful modern museums need to be outward-facing, agile, approachable and collaborative.
Janet holds a History degree from the University of Manchester and a postgraduate Diploma in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester. She took the UEA Museum Leadership Programme and was in the first cohort of the Museum Association’s Transformers programme. She is a Fellow of the Museums Association, the Royal Society of Arts and the Institute of Leadership & Management.