Our Trustees


Duncan Ackery

Duncan Ackery became a Trustee in April 2002. Ackery has held a number of senior positions in the catering industry including  Chief Executive of Searcys, Chief Executive of Tate Catering, and Director of Skillinfo, a holding company for catering operation at Queen’s Park Café. He now works as a freelance catering consultant. Alongside his work with the Whitechapel Gallery, between 1991 and 1994, Ackery also sat as a Board Member of Artspace, a not for profit contemporary gallery in Sydney, and as a Board Member of the Restaurant and Catering Association.

Swantje Conrad

Swantje Conrad was appointed to the Board in December 2011 and also sits on the Gallery’s Finance Sub Committee. Conrad has worked at J.P Morgan for more than twenty years over which time she has held various positions in mergers and acquisitions, equity research, and equity sales in Frankfurt and London.  She currently works as a senior relationship manager for a select group of the firm’s asset management clients in Europe and globally. Between 2004 and 2008 Conrad was a Trustee at Studio Voltaire, an independent contemporary arts organisation in South London.

Maryam Eisler

Maryam Eisler was appointed as a Trustee in December 2012. Eisler currently works as the Executive Editor of Art Studio America, after having previously worked as Executive Editor for Unleashed: Contemporary Art from Turkey (2011); Art and Patronage: the Middle East (2011) and Sanctuary: Britain’s Artists and their Studios (2012). She is the Director of the Maryam and Edward Eisler Foundation, established in 2011 and is dedicated to a variety of voluntary work including co-founding the Whitechapel Gallery Future Fund, a Trustee at Wellesley College, co-chair on the Tate Middle East and North Africa Acquisitions Committee, and the Executive Committee for the Art and Patronage Middle East Summit at the British Museum in 2012.

Ann Gallagher


Ann Gallagher joined the Board in December 2008. Gallagher has been Head of Collections at Tate since 2005 where she specialises in modern and contemporary British art, as well as Latin American art from 1950. She leads the team of curators responsible for building and researching Tate’s collection of British Art and is a member of the Acquisitions Group. Previously Gallagher was Senior Curator in the Visual Arts Department at the British Council where she acquired work and curated exhibitions including the Rachel Whiteread (1997) and Mark Wallinger (2001) Venice Biennale exhibitions at the British Pavilion.

Anupam Ganguli

Anupam Ganguli joined the Board in September 2013. He is a chartered accountant and MBA, whose professional career spans Price Waterhouse, Coopers, HSBC, the BBC and KPMG. Anupam is currently Finance Director of Royal Museums in Greenwich and was previously Executive Director, Resources, at Arts Council England and before that, Director of Finance at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Until 2008 he was deputy chair of the Arts Council England’s London regional council and a council member since 2002. Anupam has also undertaken voluntary work in the arts for a number of organisations and been a mentor to a number of senior people in the arts and not for profit sector.

Runa Islam

Runa Islam was appointed as a Trustee in March 2009. Islam is an artist whose work focuses on film and video installations that use overlapping layers of narrative to explore notions of truth and fiction, subjectivity and authorship. She installs her films in architectural configurations, frequently presenting them across two or three screens as a framing device. Her work aims to blur the distinctions between film and sculpture, art and cinema, and encourages a range of interpretations from viewers. She is represented by White Cube

Rania Khan

Rania Khan became a Trustee in August 2013. Khan is an Ex Officio Trustee to the Whitechapel, meaning that the position is appointed by virtue of another office held, in this case that of local councillor. Khan is a British Independent politician, councillor for Bromley-by-Bow and cabinet member for culture and regeneration in Tower Hamlets London Borough Council. She is a treasurer for Kingsley Hall, and is a board member for various statutory and non-statutory bodies. Khan is a member of NUT, CAPE, Liberty and NOS.

Cornelius Medvei

Cornelius Medvei was appointed as a Trustee in December 2012. Medvei is a partner at Eversheds where he has held various roles in the Senior Management Team, notably as Head of Real Estate and as London Senior Partner. He has a particular interest in the arts and is also a Governor of Southbank Centre, Chair of Cockpit Arts and Chair of Cheapside Initiatives. Other interests include promoting diversity in and access to the legal profession and Medvei is a member of numerous professional boards and committees which have responsibility for those areas.

Farshid Moussavi

Farshid Moussavi became a Trustee in March 2009. Moussavi is an architect, principal of Farshid Moussavi Architecture (FMA), Professor in Practice of Architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design and co-founder of the London-based Foreign Office Architects (FOA), recognised as one of the world’s most creative design firms. Moussavi has served on design and architectural advisory panels and design juries including the British Council, the Mayor of London’s ‘Design for London’ and the London Development Agency. She has written for professional magazines and published two books; The Function of Ornament (2006) and The Function of Forms (2009).

Dominic Palfreyman

Dominic Palfreyman joined as a Trustee in April 2002. Palfreyman is a self-employed private investor specialising in private and personal investments (domestic and international), focusing on energy and emerging markets. He is also a Director of the Charnwood Forest Investment Company Ltd, a Director of Whitechapel Ventures Ltd, a Trustee and board member of Modern Masterpieces, and is the founder and Chair of Trustees at The Felix Trust for Art. Palfreyman is a dedicated advocate of the arts, and currently a supporter of not only the Whitechapel Gallery but also Tate, the South London Gallery, Studio Voltaire and the Serpentine Gallery.

Catherine Petitgas

Catherine Petitgas joined the Board in March 2009. Petitgas works as a lecturer of Modern and Contemporary Art, an art historian, collector, patron and benefactor of several institutions in the UK and France. She has also been a Trustee of Gasworks/Triangle Arts Trust since 2011, a member of the Tate Latin American Acquisitions Committee since 2004, a benefactor of the Level 2 Gallery at Tate Modern, and chair of the Committee for the 2010 exhibition ‘Surreal Friends: Carrington, Varo, Horna’ at Pallant House, Chichester. 

Alice Rawsthorn

Alice Rawsthorn joined as a Trustee in October 2000. Rawsthorn is the design critic of the International Herald Tribune, the global edition of the New York Times and her weekly design column is syndicated to other media worldwide. She is a trustee of Arts Council England and the Michael Clark Company, as well as the Whitechapel Gallery and is chair of trustees at the Chisenhale Gallery. Her books include a biography of the fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and Hello World: Where Design Meets Life, which explores the impact of design on our lives, past, present and future.

John Smith

John Smith was appointed to the Board in September 2013. He is a partner in the London office at Bain & Company, and the Global Head of the Industrial Goods and Services Practice. John has extensive experience advising multinational clients on major change programmes including corporate strategy, turnarounds, new functional structures, and decision roles and processes. John has had articles published in the European Business Forum, Mergers & Acquisitions Magazine and Le Journal du Management and has been quoted in the Financial Times, The Economist, The Times and The Washington Post. He collects contemporary art internationally ranging from emerging through to mid career artists.

Rohan Silva

Rohan Silva became a Trustee in December 2010. Silva was the Senior Policy Adviser to David Cameron and has led the development of creative new approaches to policy making and key policies to support the creative industries in the UK. He commissioned the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property, and pushed the creation of the new tax reliefs for TV and video game production. In addition, in 2010 Silva created the Government’s Tech City initiative, which is supporting the growth of the technology cluster in east London. He has also exhibited as a photographer at the V&A Museum of Childhood and worked as an actor and producer at Battersea Arts Centre.

Robert Taylor

Robert Taylor was appointed to the Board of Trustees to the Whitechapel Gallery in March 2005. Taylor was Chief Executive Officer and Executive Board Member of Kleinwort Benson Banking Group, London. He has also been a non-executive Board Member of the Dresdner Bank Dubai Ltd since 2004 and has previously worked as the Head of Private Banking and Executive Committee Member at Coutts & Co, London between 2000 and 2004. In 2004 he sat as a Turner Prize juror.