Sir Vernon Ellis

Former Chair, The British Council

Biography

Vernon Ellis is Chair of the British Council. Prior to taking up that appointment in April 2010, he was for 40 years at Accenture, the leading business and information technology consulting organisation, where he was International Chairman.
The British Council is the UK’s International Cultural Relations organisation. It employs over 7,000 people and operates in 110 countries to build opportunities and trust through its work in Education and Society, English language and the Arts. He has extensive other interests in the arts. He is President of English National Opera, was for 6 years a Trustee of the Royal College of Music and is a trustee or chair of several other musical organisations. Through his Foundation he supports a wide range of arts organisations and he also organises around 60 concerts a year at his home in London. He has a growing interest and involvement in organisations bringing music experience to schools.
He is Chairman of the Arts and Media Honours Committee and a member of the overall Honours Committee, which determines national awards. He was a member of the Philanthropy Review, a task force formed in 2011 to make recommendations for increasing levels of giving and makes frequent speeches on this topic as well as on arts infrastructure and funding. This links to some of his prior work at Accenture, where in addition to operational leadership in Europe, Middle East, Africa and India, he led the global Corporate Citizenship Activities, including the focus on skill for employability through its pro bono, volunteering and Foundations giving activities. He was also the founder Chairman of Accenture Development Partnerships as well as responsible for Accenture’s activities with the World Economic Forum at Davos. He was the private sector representative on the G8 Digital Opportunities Task Force in 2002 and has served on several boards and advisory committees for leading business schools. In his operational role at Accenture and in his current role at the British Council he has a particular interest in managing global organisations. Also at both organisations and at English National Opera he has a strong interest in branding and marketing issues, including digital marketing.
He is also Chairman of Martin Randall Travel, the leading cultural tours company, and of One Medical, a company providing primary healthcare services within the NHS. He is a Director of FTI Consulting, a global financial services consulting company.
He was knighted in January 2011 for services to music and has also been awarded hnorary doctorates at Goldsmiths London and Queen’s University Belfast and honorary Fellowships at the Royal College of Music and Trinity Laban conservatoire.

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