Sir John Sorrell, designer and campaigner for creative education, has been named the new Chair of the Court of Governors of University of the Arts London.

He takes up the post on 1 August 2013 following the retirement of Sir John Tusa, who has held the post since August 2007.

Sir John Sorrell

Sir John Sorrell

Sir John Sorrell is renowned as a champion of the creative industries whose influence on the UK’s creative and cultural landscape has been far-reaching. He is a UK Business Ambassador for the creative industries, championing and promoting Britain’s creative sector abroad. He originated and chairs the annual London Design Festival and, with his wife Lady Frances, set up the Sorrell Foundation, which aims to inspire creativity in young people and improve quality of life through art and design. He is passionate about access to arts, design and communication education and, through the Foundation, initiated the National Art & Design Saturday Club, a UK-wide network through which young people can study art and design at their local college or university for free.

His past roles include Chair of the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment and of the Design Council, where he led a major review into its work that resulted in a leaner, more agile, collaborative think tank organisation. With his wife Frances he also founded and ran Newell and Sorrell, one of Europe’s biggest and most successful design agencies between 1976 and 2000.

Nigel Carrington, Vice-Chancellor of University of the Arts London, says:

“We are extremely lucky that one renowned figure in the creative industries is taking over from another as UAL’s Chair. John Sorrell has a depth of expertise and experience that is hard to match. He is also an authoritative and articulate champion of the vital place of creativity at the heart of the UK’s economy.

“While we are excited to be welcoming John, it’s sad to be saying farewell to our other John, who has served UAL so well over the past six years. John Tusa has been a tireless, devoted and hands-on Chair, providing sound and subtle guidance through the choppy waters of the past few years. We have all benefited from his wisdom and on behalf of everyone at the University I would like to express our deep gratitude.”

See more on Nigel’s blog.

Sir John Tusa (right) with Nigel Carrington (left) and Central Saint Martins student

Sir John Tusa (right) with Nigel Carrington (left) and Central Saint Martins student

Sir John Tusa, outgoing Chair, says:

“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to be Chair of this great university for the past six years. I leave with many happy memories, most notably the opportunities I have had to get to know UAL’s extremely talented students and staff. I wish John Sorrell great luck and great happiness in his new role, in which I have no doubt he will excel.”

Sir John Sorrell says:

“My career in the creative industries started 50 years ago when I went to art school. The experience changed my life and in my new role at UAL I want to help give the same opportunity to all their students.

“I would like to pay tribute to John Tusa who leaves a great legacy at UAL and will be a hard act to follow.”