The Mary Rose Trust Appoints New Chief Executive,  Helen Bonser-Wilton

The Mary Rose Trust Appoints New Chief Executive, Helen Bonser-Wilton

02 September 2015

The Mary Rose Trust is delighted to announce the appointment of a new Chief Executive, Helen Bonser-Wilton. Helen will take over the post from Rear Admiral John Lippiett who retires this September after twelve and a half years in the position.


Helen previously worked at the National Trust, latterly as Operations Director of the South West Region, where she gained a considerable amount of experience and expertise which she will bring to her new role at the Mary Rose Trust. Helen was at the National Trust for over twelve years and was instrumental in developing and implementing strategy and operations for over 20,000 acres of land in Somerset & Gloucestershire. Properties Helen oversaw include the Holnicote Estate, Tyntesfield, Dyrham Park, Hidcote Manor Garden and many outdoor touchpoints.

Helen Bonser-Wilton comments: “I am delighted to be taking the helm of the Mary Rose Trust to guide it through the next phase of development. Having visited as a teenager shortly after the ship was first raised, I have followed the Mary Rose story with interest over the past 30 years. I am very much looking forward to joining the Trust in September and to working with the team to ensure the next exciting chapter in this remarkable project is successfully delivered.”

John Lippiett, current Chief Executive has taken the Trust to its final phase of the Mary Rose conservation programme, raising funds for a new museum. John has been instrumental in establishing the Mary Rose Museum as an internationally recognised organisation.

He comments “The next chapter has now been opened and this is the right time to move aside to allow Helen to take up the exciting challenges into the future. I know Helen will receive a very warm welcome from the team and I wish her every success with this unique and very special project.”

The Mary Rose Museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard has won multiple awards including a special commendation at the European Museum of the Year Awards 2015 and two awards at the Museums & Heritage Awards for Excellence 2014 in the Permanent Exhibition and Restoration/Conservation categories. Since opening in 2013 the new Mary Rose Museum has welcomed over 980,000 visitors.