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Victoria Wallace

CWGC names heritage chief as its new Director General

13 May 2014

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) has confirmed that Leeds Castle Foundation and Enterprises Chief Executive, Victoria Wallace, will be its new Director General from 20 October 2014.

Victoria will take over from Alan Pateman-Jones who is standing down on 13 June after four years in the role. In the interim, CWGC's Director of Technical Works, Brian Davidson, will step in as Acting Director General until mid-October.

Since Victoria became Chief Executive at Leeds Castle Foundation and Enterprises in 2004, she has nearly doubled visitor numbers, enhanced the visitor experience, and expanded alternative revenue streams and opportunities. She has also led the organisation through a major stonework restoration programme. Prior to that, Victoria was Justices' Chief Executive at Sussex Magistrates' Courts from 2000-2004 and has held various posts within the Foreign and Commonwealth Diplomatic Service in Tanzania, Thailand, and Belgium.

CWGC Vice-Chairman, Sir Joe French KCB CBE, confirmed that Victoria had all the right credentials, experience and qualities to steer the Commission through the Centenary period and beyond. "The Commission will be commemorating its own Centenary in 2017 and is inevitably considering its role over the next 100 years in relation to commemoration and engagement with future generations. We have every confidence that Victoria will steer us in clearly setting out that agenda and ensuring that we embrace emerging opportunities at a pivotal time in the Commission's history.

"We are grateful for Alan's valuable contribution over the last four years in shaping the future of the Commission and for leaving a sound legacy. Under his dynamic and inspirational stewardship, the Commission has gone through major transformation and is well placed to ensure that it continues to be fit for purpose into the future. "

Commenting on her appointment, Victoria Wallace, said: "I am honoured and delighted to be joining the Commonwealth War Graves Commission at this important time of commemoration, and to be able to lead it into the future. It is a wonderful institution, with a great team, which has carried out its valuable task with meticulous efficiency for nearly 100 years. I believe it now also has huge potential to engage new generations in the understanding of conflict, and in ensuring that the contributions of the fallen servicemen and women, commemorated all round the world, will be remembered forever."

Click here to read the full media release.