Image of Maria Balshaw

Photography: Hugo Glendinning, 2017

Maria Balshaw


Chief Executive and Accounting Officer


Maria Balshaw CBE is Director of Tate, a role she has held since June 2017. She has overall responsibility for Tate’s strategic direction and day to day operations, working with a talented group of colleagues to further Tate’s mission to promote the public understanding and enjoyment of British art, and of international twentieth-century and contemporary art.  As Director, Maria is also the Accounting Officer appointed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Previously, as Director of the Whitworth, University of Manchester and Manchester City Galleries, Maria was responsible for the artistic and strategic vision for each gallery. During this period, Maria oversaw the £17 million transformation of the Whitworth, which was subsequently awarded the Art Fund Museum of the Year award for 2015. She was also Director of Culture for Manchester City Council from 2013-2017, played a leading role in establishing the city as a leading cultural centre for the U.K.

Maria holds a BA in English Literature and Cultural Studies from the University of Liverpool, and an MA in Critical Theory and a DPhil in African American Visual and Literary Culture from the University of Sussex. She is a Board Member of Arts Council England, the Clore Leadership Programme and Manchester International Festival. Maria was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to the arts in June 2015.

Director’s Office

The Director’s Office provides support to the Director, Chairman and Board of Trustees.

The Office:

  • leads Tate through the effective development, coordination and delivery of its strategy, co-ordinating the process of governance
  • and takes the lead on internal policy development and Tate’s contribution to external policy.

The Director’s Office, led by Samuel Jones, comprises Governance and Policy, Internal Communications, and Administration.

Executive Group

Executive Group is the senior decision-making forum for Tate. It assists the Director in defining the strategic direction for the Gallery.

Strategic, operational and policy issues are considered by Directors Group prior to being taken to Executive Group for decision or recommendation to the Board of Trustees.

 Executive Group and Directors Group chart [PDF, 17.33 KB]