Phillip Keir, Chair of the Biennale of Sydney today announced the appointment of Ben Strout as the Biennale’s new Chief Executive Officer.
‘Following an extensive international search, undertaken with assistance from recruitment company Korn Ferry, we are delighted to confirm Ben Strout’s appointment as the new Chief Executive Officer’ said Phillip Keir. ‘The selection committee unanimously agreed that Ben’s significant arts management experience and strong leadership skills will be a tremendous asset to the Biennale of Sydney.’
Ben Strout was Executive Director of Sydney Writers’ Festival (2009–2014), where he produced six festivals and led the organisation though a period of significant expansion. During his tenure, the Festival increased annual turnover by more than 60% and achieved record-breaking attendances.
Prior to joining Sydney Writers’ Festival, Ben was Executive Director of Arts Development at the Australia Council for the Arts (2000–2009). At the Council he headed the team responsible for the first three national Books Alive campaigns and led negotiations for specific funding allocations of the Contemporary Visual Arts and Craft Inquiry, of which he was a senior member of the steering committee. Ben also co-authored the Cultural Ministers Council Small to Medium Performing Arts Examination, served for a number of years on the Playing Australia National Touring Committee and was a member of the Asialink Performance/Arts Management Committee (2000–2005).
Ben Strout said, ‘The Biennale of Sydney is a deeply engaging and important international event. It is a privilege to be joining the passionate staff of the Biennale, and to be working with such an experienced and dedicated Board of Directors. I am truly looking forward to the years ahead.’
Ben Strout will take up the position in February 2015, taking over from Danielle Earp, who has been Acting Chief Executive Officer since June 2014.