The British Council has recruited Robin Cole-Hamilton, who is
currently head of public affairs at the Victoria and Albert Museum, as
its new director of communications.
Cole-Hamilton joins the organisation, which exists to promote British
cultural interests overseas, in April. He will have a staff of 30 and
will report to the organisation’s director-general, David Green.
Nigel Semmens, director of press and PR, said that Cole-Hamilton had
been picked because of the relevance of his experience, and his
familiarity with the organisation.
’At the V&A he has acted as an ambassador, both here and overseas when
exhibitions have been on tour. Much of his work has overlapped with that
of the British Council, so he is familiar with our organisation,’ he
Cole-Hamilton’s experience in both the public and the private sector -
before joining the V&A in 1991 he worked for information services
company BIS Group and BT - were also relevant in the selection, Semmens
said, as was his management experience.
Among his early responsibilities at the British Council will be work to
secure the pounds 30 million increase in government funding (to a total
of pounds 160 million) that the Foreign Affairs Committee recommended
last year, and also to pull together the organisation’s various
Cole-Hamilton will also look after design and branding. The organisation
does not use external PR agencies.
He replaces Paul Doherty, who is leaving London to run the body’s Prague
The British Council operates 254 offices in 110 countries worldwide and
has 7,500 staff. Each overseas office is largely responsible for its own
communications but Cole-Hamilton will have a watching brief and will
also handle internal communications.