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We have a new Chair of Trustees

By - 12 February 2024 - 12:13pm

We are delighted to announce the appointment of our new Chair of Trustees: Professor Keith McLay.

We are delighted to announce the appointment of our new Chair of Trustees: Professor Keith McLay, Provost - Learning & Teaching at the University of Derby.

Many of you will recognise Keith from his excellent interviewing at our Festivals (pictured here with Lisa Nandy last summer) over the past four years. He has been a Festival Trustee since October 2019 and has provided an important link between the Festival and the University of Derby, one of our key funders. Keith takes over from Liz Fothergill CBE, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Derbyshire, who has held the position of Chair since the Festival’s inception in February 2015. We are delighted that Liz has accepted our invitation to become our first Festival Patron and we look forward to her continuing involvement with the Festival in this role.

Keith’s academic interests lie in military history and he will interview two events at the Spring Collection: Lord Simon McDonald, the former Head of the Diplomatic Service, who will discuss two books: Leadership and Beyond Britannia: Reshaping UK Foreign Policy and journalist and campaigner Peter Apps on Deterring Armageddon: A Biography of NATO.

Liz has held the role of Chair for nine years (the limit allowed by the Festival’s Constitution). During this time, Liz has guided and overseen the development of the Festival: its reinvention during Covid, its expansion from one to three programmes each year with increased ticket sales and also its reach across local communities with the growing community programme.

Liz said of her time with the Festival: “It has been a privilege and an absolute joy to chair Derby Book Festival during its first nine years. We have been well supported at every step of our journey with partners and local businesses especially keen to see another cultural gem in the City’s calendar. People have been brought together in a love of books and an appreciation of the positive impact that reading for pleasure can bring to all our lives. We have been honoured to host some world class authors and, without exception, all have enjoyed the warmth and welcome from our audiences."

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