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UK's National Lottery Heritage Fund appoints René Olivieri as interim chair

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Former scientific publishing executive René Olivieri has taken over as chair of the UK's National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Heritage Memorial Fund on an interim basis, following the decision by Sir Peter Luff to stand down.

Olivieri was for many years the chief executive of Blackwell Publishing. Today, he designs and delivers courses on innovation, business models and cultural change for senior executives in both commercial and not-for-profit organisations.

Since March 2018, he has been a member of the board of trustees of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which makes decisions on the use of lottery funds, and has chaired the Finance, Staffing & Resources and Investment committees. The UK government is currently undergoing a recruitment process to appoint a permanent replacement for Sir Peter, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease last year.

"Sir Peter Luff played a vital role in supporting the UK's heritage during his five years as chair of the two funds," said Olivieri, paying tribute to his predecessor.

"He oversaw the culmination of the First World War Centenary programme, strengthened our commitment to nature and the environment, was a tireless champion of diversity and inclusion, and steered us through important organisational changes.

"Sir Peter is a fantastic advocate for the power of The National Lottery to change people's lives for the better, and for the National Lottery players who provide the money to make this possible. I intend to continue that legacy and, like Sir Peter, always ensure that we put people and their stories at the heart of everything we do."

Of the challenges ahead, Olivieri said he and the National Lottery Heritage Fund board would be looking at how it responds to the climate emergency, ensuring that a more diverse and inclusive range of people is involved with the UK's heritage, protecting at-risk heritage and supporting the sector to develop "greater capacity and resilience".

In addition to the roles already mentioned, Olivieri is also chair of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and was previously chair of The Wildlife Trusts and the Tubney Charitable Trust.

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Former scientific publishing executive René Olivieri has taken over as chair of the UK's National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Heritage Memorial Fund on an interim basis, following the decision by Sir Peter Luff to stand down after being diagnosed with Parkinson's last year.
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