Dame Elan Closs Stephens has been appointed as acting chairwoman of the BBC.
Dame Elan will replace Richard Sharp who will step down on 27 June. He resigned earlier this year after breaking rules over dealings with then-PM Boris Johnson ahead of his appointment.
Dame Elan will lead the BBC board for 12 months or until a new permanent chair has been appointed, whichever is sooner.
Dame Elan has been a non-executive director on the BBC Board since July 2017, and before that was the Trustee for Wales on the BBC Trust (2010 – 2017). Between 2019 and 2022, she was chair of the commercial holdings board for BBC Studios.
Dame Elan is currently the Pro Chancellor and Professor Emerita in Communications and Creative Industries at Aberystwyth University. She is also the Electoral Commissioner for Wales and Member of the UK Electoral Commission Board. She is the Chair of the Wales Public Leaders’ Forum and Chair of the UNESCO International Prize for contribution to the creative economy.
Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer made the appointment following consultation with the BBC Board, in line with the terms of the BBC’s Royal Charter.
Frazer said: “I am pleased that Dame Elan will take up the position of Acting Chair of the BBC and has the unanimous support of the Board. When she takes over, Dame Elan will provide stability in the leadership of the BBC while a process to appoint a new permanent Chair is run.”
Dame Elan said: ‘It’s a huge honour to be appointed by the Secretary of State as Acting Chair and I am grateful to my fellow board members for putting their trust in me. As a board, we will champion the licence fee payer across all of the UK; ensure the BBC is a vital partner for the UK creative industries; maintain trust and drive change to make the BBC fit for a fast-changing media landscape. There is much work to be done.”
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