Director of Manchester Museum and Honorary Professor of Heritage Futures, University of Manchester

Esme Ward is the Director of Manchester Museum who plays a key role in building the South Asian Art Gallery (to be inaugurated in 2022) at the Manchester Museum.

Esme Ward is an English museum professional with an interest in public learning and engagement.

Esme Ward was appointed as Director of Manchester Museum in April 2018. She is the first woman to hold the role in the history of the museum, which was founded in 1867.[2] Prior to her appointment, she was Head of Learning Engagement at Manchester Museum and the Whitworth, where she led the growth of audiences and programmes, to include award-winning early years, health and culture and age friendly work.

In 2016-17 she was a Fellow on the Clore Leadership Programme, exploring social and civic purpose, leadership and the future of museums.

Ward is the Strategic Lead (Culture) for Age Friendly Manchester and the Greater Manchester Ageing Hub, and writes and speaks about age-friendly culture and the social purpose and future of museums, both internationally and at home.

She sits on several national boards and networks, including Age Friendly Museums Network and was one of the expert authors on the Prime Minister’s Champion Group on the Arts Guide to Dementia Friendly Culture. She is co-curator of the Arts and Health programme at the forthcoming World Health Congress 2019-20.