John Barnes joined Historic Royal Palaces in 2001 from English Heritage where he had been the Director responsible for professional services and then for major projects. Before that he had practised as an architect with a succession of leading conservation firms.
John is responsible for the care of the six palaces and the collections, their presentation, interpretation and learning activities, as well as strategic leadership of site developments. He has led the development of the distinctive learning and creative engagement programmes for which the charity is well-known and transformational changes at each of the palaces.
He is an alumni of the Getty Leadership Programme (2005), has taught on the Danish Museums Leadership Programme and mentored on the UEA Leadership course. He is currently a Trustee of Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, and Chair of DEMHIST ICOM, a committee of the International Council of Museums, concerned with historic house museums. Since 2008 he has been a Governor of Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ Academy.
In his spare time John practises and teaches karate.