Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Jay Hunt, Michael Birshan, and Eleanor Whitley appointed as Governors of the British Film Institute.
The Secretary of State has appointed Jay Hunt, Michael Birshan and Eleanor Whitley as Governors for the BFI from the 17th of February 2020 to the 17th of February 2024
Jay Hunt is Apple TV + Creative Director for Europe. She is the only person to have led BBC One, Channel 5 and Channel 4.
Hunt started her career at BBC News working on Newsnight and Panorama before becoming editor of both the One O’clock and Six O’clock News. She was Controller of BBC Daytime and Director of Programmes at Channel 5, before returning to the BBC in 2008 to run BBC One. Her commissions there included Sherlock, Luther and Mrs Brown’s Boys.
In 2011 she was made the first Chief Creative Officer of Channel 4. Over the next 7 years, she led what was described as a “creative renaissance” delivering global hits from Gogglebox to Humans, Catastrophe to Hunted, First Dates to Derry Girls.
Michael Birshan is a Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company, where he co-leads the firm’s Strategy & Corporate Finance Practice in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Michael is also a member of the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) council, which advises on MGI’s research on global economic, business and technology trends.
Based in London, Michael has previously been based in San Francisco and Mumbai. Passionate about education, communication and creativity, Michael serves on the governing body of the Royal College of Art and the advisory council of King’s Business School.
He has been a commissioner of the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission, which stewards the British Marshall Scholarships, and a trustee of the World Schools Debating Championships. Michael studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Eleanor (Nell) Whitley has a reputation for driving forward ambitious work in a variety of forms – live events, art installations & digital media – and her collaborations with Marshmallow Laser Feast (where she is Executive Producer) demonstrate a unique vision for the future of creative experiences.
She has produced the critically acclaimed In the Eyes of the Animal (Sundance New Frontier 2016, Wired Award for Innovation in Experience Design) and other mixed reality works including; A Colossal Wave (SXSW 2018), Treehugger (Tribeca Film Festival Storyscapes Award 2017 & Best VR Film at Arles Festival) and We Live in an Ocean of Air which premiered at the Saatchi Gallery, London (2018/9).
These roles are not remunerated. These appointments have been made in accordance with the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments, the process is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. The Government’s Governance Code requires that any significant political activity undertaken by an appointee in the last five years is declared. This is defined as holding office, public speaking, making a recordable donation or candidature for election. Ms Hunt, Mr Birshan, and Ms Whitley have not declared any activity.
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