EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT GROUP
The Executive Management Group (EMG) provide strategic and operational leadership for the Museum.
With the Museum's Director, Dr Xa Sturgis, the EMG team oversee plans and the performance of the Ashmolean, setting its goals while monitoring risks. They are the organisation’s senior decision-makers.
Dr Alexander Sturgis – Director
Xa has been Director of the Ashmolean since 2014. Previously he was Director of the Holburne Museum in Bath, where he oversaw the Museum’s £11 million redevelopment and extension. Before that he worked at the National Gallery in London for 13 years, first in the Education Department and then as Exhibitions and Programmes Curator.
An art historian by training, having studied at both Oxford and the Courtauld Institute in London, Xa's doctorate was on the design and ornamentation of Medieval Gothic Cathedrals. He has curated many exhibitions over his career including shows on the portrait sculpture and image of the artist in the 19th century, as well as working with contemporary artists on exhibitions including Bill Viola and Jeff Koons.
Rachel Davies – Director of Operations
Director of Operations since 2017, Rachel is a chartered accountant who joined the sector after studying for an MA in Museum and Gallery Management at City University. Her previous roles include Tate Modern, where she was part of the original Project Team and then Senior Management Team, and Compton Verney, where as Deputy Director, she oversaw the transformation from dilapidated country estate to independent art gallery and charity with an endowment of £45 million.
As well as managing the Operations Teams, Rachel is the Ashmolean lead on Environmental Sustainability and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. She represents GLAM (Gardens, Libraries and Museums of the University of Oxford) on the University’s People and Environmental Sustainability Committees.
Professor Frédérique Duyrat – Director of Collections and Keeper of the Heberden Coin Room
A specialist of ancient history and numismatics, Frédérique arrived at the Ashmolean Museum in September 2023. Previously she taught Ancient History in two French universities, then directed the Cabinet des Médailles at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France where she led a major redisplay of the collection and a complete renovation of the historical facilities.
A member of the International Numismatic Council, she is a specialist of Achaemenid and Hellenistic Syria, involved in a number of research programmes exploring fields as diverse as the use and circulation of gold in the Ancient world, Linked Open Data and digital resources and fighting the traffic of looted cultural heritage. She has a MA PhD Habilitation (Sorbonne University, Paris).
Gina Koutsika – Director of Audience and Content
Gina was the Director of the Young V&A, leading its transformation from the Museum of Childhood to the Young V&A. Previously, she led Exhibitions, Commercial Events and Programming at Kew Gardens, and headed up Partnerships and Engagement for the Imperial War Museum, including the First World War Centenary. Before that she was Head of Interpretation, Exhibitions and Learning at the Tate, the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum.
Gina has been an advisor or board member for numerous organisations, including ICOM (International Council of Museums), British Council, Museums Association (MA), VSA, VSG, Wellcome Trust, and the Museums and Heritage Show. Currently Gina is a Trustee at the Jewish Museum London, a Fellow at the MA, St Edmund’s Hall and the RSA, a Governor of Gateway Academy and Sunday School Lead at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral.
Claire Lane – Director of Commercial
Claire joined the Ashmolean Museum at the beginning of 2022 as Commercial Director. She is responsible for leading a number of teams across the Museum to generate and grow a range of critical income streams including retail, catering, venue hire, publishing, picture library and licensing.
Prior to joining the Museum, Claire held a variety of senior commercial roles at TUI and John Lewis in the travel and retail sectors before moving into the heritage sector to work for the National Trust. Claire has led large commercial teams and held accountability for significant business P&Ls. She has built her career through being focused on delivering great customer experiences and around supporting teams to perform at their very best.