sarah Weir OBE


Sarah Weir OBE, the first female appointed as Chief Executive of Design Council stepped down on 29 October 2020, after three and a half years at its helm. This brought to a close an illustrious career spanning 45 years. Her decision follows her diagnosis of a rare lung disease.

Having left school at 16, Sarah started her career as a broker at Lloyd’s of London. Over a 15-year period, she went from being the office junior to the first female Managing Director in the Lloyd’s market. A passionate advocate of the creative economy, much of Sarah’s career since then has focused on arts, culture and design. Before joining Design Council, Sarah was previously Executive Producer at the Roundhouse in London and Chief Executive of Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire. Her other past roles include Chief Executive of The Legacy List, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park charity (now called Foundation for Future London); Head of Arts and Cultural Strategy for Olympic Delivery Authority; Executive Director, Arts Council England; London and Executive Director of the Almeida Theatre.

Sarah has a History of Art BA from Birkbeck College (1993-7), was awarded an OBE for services to the arts (2011), First Woman Awards for public service (2013) and is a Fellow of Birkbeck College (2013). Sarah was awarded an honorary doctorate from University of the Arts London for services to design in 2019 and she has served on the board of the Alzheimer’s Society since 2013.