Darren Henley is chief executive of Arts Council England, which champions, develops and invests in great art and culture for everyone. His two independent government reviews into music and cultural education resulted in England's first National Plan for Music Education, new networks of Music Education Hubs and Heritage Schools, the Museums and Schools programme, the BFI Film Academy and the National Youth Dance Company. Before joining the Arts Council in 2015, he spent twenty-six years working in the media, leading Classic FM for fifteen years, first as managing editor and then managing director.
The author of thirty books, he studied politics at the University of Hull and holds honorary academic awards from Birmingham City University, Buckinghamshire New University, Canterbury Christ Church University, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts, Liverpool John Moores University, Royal College of Music, Royal Northern College of Music, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, the University for the Creative Arts and the University of Hull. A companion of the Chartered Management Institute and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, London College of Music and the Radio Academy, he is a recipient of the Sir Charles Groves Prize, the British Academy President's Medal and an OBE for services to music.