Non-Executive Director, Culture

Professor Mike Robinson

United Kingdom National Commission for UNESCO

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Mike is a specialist in cultural heritage and sustainable tourism, with over 30 years’ experience working with heritage and related tourism projects in more than 40 countries. As Professor of Cultural Heritage at Nottingham Trent University, Mike is working to develop the University’s international, cross-disciplinary research portfolio in the heritage field. He remains as Emeritus Professor at the University of Birmingham, where he was Director of the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage. Prior to this, Mike held Professorships as Founder/Director of the Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change at the Universities of Sheffield Hallam and Leeds Metropolitan.

Mike’s work has sought to set new agendas, across disciplines with research that makes a difference to local communities. He has worked as an advisor to the UNESCO World Heritage Programme in Sustainable Tourism and was principal consultant to the UNESCO World Heritage European Journeys Project. He has worked with UNESCO offices in China, South East Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East.

Mike is also a long-term advisor to the Council of Europe’s Programme on Cultural Routes. His research spans (World) heritage communication and interpretation, third line construction heritage in China, industrial heritage and regeneration, and most recently, heritage-based enterprise development in the former Aral Sea Basin in Uzbekistan, working with the within UNDP / UNESCO Joint Project “Addressing the urgent human insecurities in the Aral Sea region through promoting sustainable rural development”.

Mike has held various visiting positions including Visiting Professorships at National Taiwan University (Graduate Institute of Planning) and University of Trento, Italy (Department of Philosophy, Aesthetics and Cultural Heritage), European Union Fellowship at the University of Illinois (Cultural Heritage), Research Fellow at University of KwaZulu-Natal (Department of Literature). He has served on the Boards of heritage attractions, the Council for British Research in the Levant, the AHRC College, and is founder and co-editor of the international Journal of Tourism and Cultural and Cultural Change and of the book series, Tourism and Cultural and Cultural Change, with over 60 international volumes published.


Nottingham Trent University


University of East Anglia

Role at UNESCO

Culture Portfolio Director, UK National Commission for UNESCO Board of Directors

Since 2024

“Heritage, in all of its forms and at all scales, is a vital resource for communities, offering a pathway to achieving sustainable development. More than ever, we need to find ways to creatively and effectively, mobilise the valued legacies of the past so that they assist us in creating a better future. I’m delighted to be working with the UK National Commission to ensure that we maximise the value of UNESCO designations and the full spectrum of UNESCO’s global programmes.”

Professor Mike Robinson

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.


Professor Mike Robinson is a Non-Executive Director at the UK National Commission for UNESCO and jointly oversees the Culture Portfolio.


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

FROM 2024

Professor of Cultural Heritage
Nottingham Trent University

Professor of Cultural Heritage
University of Birmingham

Director: Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change
Universities of Sheffield Hallam and Leeds Metropolitan 

University of East Anglia


UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) is the United Nations body responsible for coordinating international cooperation in education, science, culture and communication & information.

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.