Appointing an external candidate to this role at the Natural History Museum sends an unfortunate message to those who have spent their careers in the sector

19 June 2020

The Natural History Museum has appointed Dr Doug Gurr as its new Director, replacing Mike Dixon.


Dr Gurr is the current boss of Amazon UK.

Alan Leighton, Prospect National Secretary, responded to the announcement:

“This appointment comes at a very difficult time for museums and for the staff in the sector.

“With museums closed and any return subject to reduced visitor numbers, revenue will be an early problem that has to be addressed. We hope that Dr Gurr will be a strong advocate for emergency rescue funding for the NHM and the sector as a whole.

“It is regrettable that this appointment seems to do little to improve diversity in the top echelons of the sector, which remain too white and too male. An external appointment from outside the sector also gives an unfortunate message to those who work in museums and seek to aspire to develop their careers to the highest levels.  This is no reflection on Dr Gurr’s ability or that of outgoing Director Mike Dixon with whom Prospect has a very good relationship.

“Prospect looks forward to working with Dr Gurr in continuing to develop our plans for a safe return in the near future and towards a successful future for the Natural History Museum and its dedicated workforce.”