Michael Day

Honorary: Doctorate
Position: Chief Executive Historic Royal Palaces


Michael Day was born in Nottingham in 1953 and educated at Nottingham High School and the University of Leeds. After graduating with a degree in English, he started his career with the Norfolk Museums Service in 1974 before moving in 1983 to the Ironbridge Gorge Museum as Curator of Social History. In 1987, he was appointed Director of the Jersey Heritage Trust, where he was eventually responsible for four museums, two castles and the island's national archive. Achievements in Jersey included winning the UK Museum of the Year Award twice.

In 2003, he became Chief Executive of Historic Royal Palaces, the education and conservation charity responsible for the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and the Banqueting House in Whitehall. Historic Royal Palaces has 3.3m annual visitors, 670 staff and a £60m pa turnover.

Michael attended the Getty Leadership Institute in Berkeley, California in 1993. He has been a member of the faculty of the UEA Museum Leadership Programme since 1994 and was co-director of the Nordic Museum Leadership Programme in Denmark from 2001-08. He has also been an occasional visiting lecturer at the London Business School, Cass Business School and New York University. During the last six years he has taught or spoken at conferences in Bangkok, Barcelona, Milan, Paris, Tehran, Vienna and Zurich.

He is a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute, and a Fellow of the Museums Association and the Royal Society of Arts. He is on the Board of the Cultural Leadership Programme, the Advisory Board of Kingston University's Faculty of Business and Law, is a Trustee of The Alnwick Garden Trust and was on the judges' panel for the Gulbenkian Museum Prize in 2005 and 2006. He was awarded an Hon DArts by Kingston University in 2010, for his work over the last twenty years in the heritage and museums sector.

Michael is married to Anne, who is a consultant working in the cultural sector. He has two children (Daniel, 24 and Felicity, 21). Outside work interests include sailing, skiing, real tennis, running, Aston Villa FC, cinema and music.