Carole Souter CBE


Carole is currently Chair and Trustee of The Heritage Alliance, subject to formal election at the next AGM in early 2025 and took up her appointment as Chair on 1st July 2024. She succeeded our then Acting Chair Ingrid Samuel OBE, who brilliantly led the Heritage Alliance through the interim period following the sad passing of our former Chair, Pam Alexander OBE, in April 2023. Ingrid continues to serve as Deputy Chair, providing continuity and support during Carole’s appointment.

You can find a relevant announcement on Carole's appointment here.

Carole is a passionate advocate for culture and heritage, with an outstanding record of achievement in the sector. She led the Heritage Lottery Fund (now the National Lottery Heritage Fund) as Chief Executive from 2003-2016, overseeing the distribution of billions of pounds of investment in culture, heritage and the environment. She has recently stepped down as interim chair of Historic Royal Palaces, having served in that role during the period of mourning for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla, and the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, which was signed in Hillsborough Castle.

Carole served from 2016-2022 as Master of St Cross College at the University of Oxford, a graduate College with students from all over the world. She also chaired the Board of Visitors of the University Museum of Natural History and, as a Trustee, the Planning Committee of the Oxford Preservation Trust. She was an advocate for equality and diversity across the University, focusing particularly on the importance of supporting those with no prior connection to the University.

She chairs the Sulgrave Manor Trust, which cares for the ancestral home of George Washington in Northamptonshire, is currently a trustee of the Horniman Museum and Gardens and Oxford Preservation Trust, and is a lay canon of Salisbury Cathedral. From 2001 to 2003 she was Director of Planning and Development for English Heritage, joining that organisation after more than 20 years as a civil servant, during which she worked in the Departments of Health and Social Security and the Cabinet Office.