#NonExecutiveDirector

Helen Maclagan

Board Member and Vice Chair, UK National Commission for UNESCO Board of Directors.

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Helen Maclagan is an independent heritage and cultural specialist, based in the West Midlands. Her interests include the engagement of local communities with the historic and natural environment and links between culture and health.

Having originally studied and trained as an archaeologist, Helen has a diverse career portfolio after having worked for some 20 years as Warwickshire County Council’s County Archaeologist, and latterly their Head of Heritage and Culture. During this time, she also played multiple key roles in national archaeological and heritage organisations. She then spent a year volunteering in Burkina Faso, West Africa, using culture in health education, particularly HIV-AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis and malnutrition.

Helen has been a member of numerous national committees in a voluntary capacity and is currently a member of the National Trust Specialist Advice Network. She joined the UK National Commission for UNESCO in December 2013, taking responsibility for the Culture Portfolio on the Board of Directors. Since then she has been involved with World Heritage Sites (particularly the UK Tentative List) and with issues around Underwater Cultural Heritage (each of these the subject of a UK National Commission Policy Brief).

Other areas of activity have related to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, the Cultural Protection Fund, to Culture and Conflict (with UKNC partners the Blue Shield Committee), and most recently – and currently – the role of Cultural Heritage in International Development. Whilst the work Helen has done with the Commission so far has been outstanding, there are still many culture-related challenges ahead, including how we might engage with intangible cultural heritage, the diversity of cultural expressions across the globe, and with broader issues around culture and development.

She was appointed OBE for services to culture and heritage in the 2019 New Year’s honours list.

#Institution

Culture and Heritage Consultant
Independent Culture and Heritage Consultancy.

From 2011

#Alma-Matter

University of Cambridge, BA.

#Role at UNESCO

Vice-Chair and Culture Portfolio Director, UK National Commission for UNESCO Board of Directors

SINCE 2013

QUOTE

“Originally – and so always – an archaeologist, I am interested in all aspects of heritage (cultural and natural, tangible and intangible), the arts, and culture in its widest sense. I particularly enjoy exploring the intersections between different elements of the heritage and cultural sectors and their links to health, wellbeing and community engagement with the environment.”

Helen Maclagan

Liaising with the UK’s Permanent Delegation to UNESCO and approved by HM government, our Non-Executive Directors help steer the direction of the UK National Commission for UNESCO, and are each responsible for overseeing a particular field of UNESCO’s work in the UK.

ROLE AT UNESCO

Helen Maclagan is Vice-Chair of the UK National Commission for UNESCO’s Board of Directors and oversees the Culture Portfolio. She is a specialist in heritage and culture consultancy.

Institutions

UK National Commission for UNESCO
Board Member, Vice-Chair and Culture Director.

FROM 2013

Independent Culture and Heritage Consultancy
Culture and Heritage Consultant

FROM 2011

Warwickshire County Council
Head of Heritage and Culture

FROM 2006 – 2010

Role at UNESCO

Vice-Chair of the UK National Commission for UNESCO’s Board of Directors, Culture and Heritage Specialist

SINCE 2018

COMMISSION

The UK National Commission for UNESCO

ESTABLISHED 1946 – LONDON, ENGLAND

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) is the United Nations body responsible for coordinating international cooperation in education, science, culture and communication. The UKNC is a hub for all UNESCO-related matters in the UK, and the Board of Directors take part in formulating and regularly reviewing the strategic aims of the commission.

Publications

SELECTED PUBLISHED WORK

Read about some of the projects and initiatives that Helen has been a part of.

LATEST

INTERNATIONAL DAY International Migrants Day 18.12 Home  →  What's On  →  Events  →   International Days   →   December 18 We celebrate the International Migrants Day on December 18. READ MORE BELOW MIGRANTS DAY Photo credit, from top to bottom: Nicola Fioravanti, UNESCO Migration is a global phenomenon driven by many forces. These start with aspirations for…
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INTERNATIONAL DAY International Day of Persons with Disabilities 03.12 Home  →  What's On  →  Events  →   International Days   →   December 3 We celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3. READ MORE BELOW DAY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES Photo credit, from top to bottom: Nathan Anderson, Arisa Chattasa. The annual observance of the…
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INTERNATIONAL DAY International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People 29.11 Home  →  What's On  →  Events  →   International Days   →   November 29 We celebrate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on November 29. READ MORE BELOW SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE Photo credit, from top to bottom: Ahmed Abu Hameeda, Cole-Keister.…
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INTERNATIONAL DAY International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 25.11 Home  →  What's On  →  Events  →   International Days   →   November 25 We celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25. READ MORE BELOW END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN Photo credit, from top to bottom: United Nations, Karl…
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QUOTE

“I’m involved at the moment in exploring ways to improve the profile and participation of heritage in international development generally, and ODA (Official Development Assistance) specifically. This work builds on the UKNC publication Cultural Heritage Innovation – Opportunities for International Development. Culture in general (and heritage in particular) has a huge amount to contribute both in its own right and in supporting other development objectives.”

Helen Maclagan, Explaining the role of cultural heritage internationally.

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Liaising with the UK’s Permanent Delegation to UNESCO and approved by HM government, our Non-Executive Directors help steer the direction of the UK National Commission for UNESCO, and are each responsible for overseeing a particular field of UNESCO’s work in the UK.

🧭   Meet our #NonExecutiveDirectors     
Professor Colin McInnes     

#Chair #HumanSciences

Helen Maclagan OBE     

#Vice-Chair #Culture

Karen Merkel     

#Communication&Information

Professor David Drewry     

#NaturalSciences

Professor Anne Anderson OBE     

#HigherEducation

Joseph Nhan-O'Reilly     

#Education

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