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Victoria Wallace

Victoria Wallace becomes first woman to lead the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

20 October 2014

Victoria Wallace becomes the first woman Director General of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) when she joins the organisation on 20 October.

Following ten years as Chief Executive at Leeds Castle Foundation and Enterprises, Victoria becomes responsible for the running of the CWGC and its multi-national workforce of 1,300 staff. The CWGC cares for the graves and memorials to almost 1.7 million Commonwealth servicemen and women who died during the two world wars, and works at a staggering 23,000 locations in 153 countries, and on every continent except Antarctica.

Victoria said: "It's a great joy to be coming to this extraordinary organisation at a time of unprecedented interest in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's work.

"Visitor numbers to our major cemeteries and memorials have increased massively in the last twelve months as a result of the Centenary of the Great War. But we have more work to do to help those visitors understand the historical significance of our sites and encourage them to visit the lesser known war graves and memorials we care for.

"The Commission, its work and its team have a rightly-deserved reputation for excellence amongst those who know about us. But that is far too few people.  We want the world to value what we do.

Victoria adds: "We need to seek greater recognition, and be proud of what we have achieved for nearly a century. And with the Commissioners and the senior team, I am now starting to look at the next hundred years, and how we take our mission, to ensure that our war dead are never forgotten, into the future."

Victoria joins the CWGC from the Leeds Castle Foundation and Enterprises where she doubled visitor numbers, enhanced the visitor experience, and expanded alternative revenue streams and opportunities. 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.  She is also a Council member of the Association for Independent Museums. Victoria takes over from Brian Davidson, who has been in post as Acting Director General since July.

Click here to read the full Press release.