Museum of London appoints Sharon Ament as new Director
8 May 2012
Michael Cassidy CBE, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Museum of London, today announced the appointment of Sharon Ament as the Museum’s new Director. Sharon will take up the new post in September 2012.
Sharon is currently Director of Public Engagement at the Natural History Museum and is responsible for all of its interface with the public. She has been working since 2000 to create transformational experiences and build the reach and impact of the Museum. The Natural History Museum is recognised as one of the world’s premier institutions dedicated to research on the natural world. Through innovative programmes, new galleries, worldwide reach, digital outputs and increased profile the NHM has increased the numbers of people engaging with it to more than 36 million.
Sharon is responsible for the Museum’s visitor services, learning, communications, interactive media, exhibitions, public programmes and fundraising. She has contributed significantly towards the success of the Natural History Museum, overseeing a team responsible for generating an annual income of over £18 million.
Michael Cassidy said: ‘I am delighted to announce Sharon Ament’s appointment. Sharon has a strong track record with over 20 years’ experience in the area of culture and tourism. She is a powerful exponent of the potential museums have to transform people’s lives.’
Sharon Ament said: ‘There are few roles that bring the range of opportunity and ability to make an impact upon the self-awareness and culture of a city as that of the Director of the Museum of London. My passion for the people, intellectual output and reputation of London marries well with the work and philosophy of the Museum of London.
‘London has a museum that reflects its rich and complex past, a museum that contributes to the city’s exciting future and one that is deeply meaningful to its broad community. As Director of the Museum of London I am looking forward to being part of the next phase of the Museum’s future.’
Her appointment follows a period of major transformation at the Natural History Museum including the 2009 opening of the Darwin Centre.
The Museum of London was relaunched in 2010 with the opening of its £25million Galleries of Modern London, which tell the story of the world’s greatest city from 1666 to the present day.
Ament currently chairs the Exhibition Road Cultural Group, which represents 17 major cultural organisations. She is the Vice President of Ecsite the European Network for Science Centres and Museums. Until recently she was a trustee of the Wildscreen Trust and the International Wildlife Film Festival.
Before working at the Natural History Museum Ament was London Zoo’s Head of Marketing and PR. She also worked under Sir Peter Scott at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, as Head of National Marketing.
Sharon was born in Peckham, South East London, and grew up in both the country (Thetford, Norfolk) and the city (Liverpool). She was the first person in her family to go to university. She cites the impact of Liverpool City Museum, the Walker Art Gallery and the Picton Library as being formative for her in her own learning in her early years. She took History of Art at Leeds University and graduated in 1985.