Caroline McDonald leads the Great North Museum on behalf of Newcastle University and sits within the Leadership Team of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums. She oversees the creative and business development of the museum and its programmes, as well as the continuing professional development of the team. Working closely with the university, Caroline is committed to working with the team to improve people’s life chances through inspiring and entertaining access to science and culture. Caroline provides support to the wider sector in her role as a Trustee of the National Museum of the Royal Navy: Hartlepool.
Prior to this role Caroline was a Senior Curator of Archaeology at the Museum of London, having had previous archaeology roles at Colchester & Ipswich Museum Service. She has been helped on her own leadership journey by the Museums and Resilient Leadership and the Getty Leadership Institute NextGen leadership programmes.
Working in the museum sector has been a second career for Caroline. From a working class background, and the first in her family to go to university, she originally studied English Literature and Drama. What followed was a ten year career in television, working on the studio floor and eventually directing and vision mixing a range of content. Caroline considers the 'failure' of her first career to have been life defining. Everything she knows about museums and leadership was learnt at QVC The Shopping Channel.