Arts Council's top new appointments

Russell, Runacres join executive board


Arts Council England has announced the final phase of its top level management restructure.

Richard Russell, ACE’s director of strategy has been promoted to the role of chief operating officer and will lead the Arts Council’s investment, governance and planning. He will also take responsibility for Goal 5 in the Arts Council’s 10 year strategy – ensuring every child and young person has the opportunity to experience art and culture.


Prior to the Arts Council, Richard worked in local government and also as a music promoter, running festivals and establishing new arts organisations across the country.  


Francis Runacres, currently the Arts Council’s director of investment, will take over the new role of executive director, enterprise and innovation. He will focus on new types of funding and investment models – supporting opportunities for growth and helping vulnerable parts of the sector become more resilient, as well as helping cultural organisations to embrace the use of technology.


He will also be responsible for Goal 3 in the Arts Council’s strategy – ensuring the arts, museums and libraries are resilient and environmentally sustainable. An external advisory group will be appointed to guide policy development around technology and innovation.

Prior to the Arts Council, Francis was at consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers. He is also a trustee of the Tudor Trust, an independent grant-making charitable trust.


The latest reshuffle follows the changes to ACE’s executive after the departure of deputy chief executive, Althea Efunshile and of the executive director for London and the South East last year. The latest appointments complete the new structure, which will officially come into place on 1 November 2016.


The Arts Council’s Executive Board will remain the same size and cost to the organisation, as agreed at the Arts Council’s last organisational review in 2012.

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