Matthew Sheldon has been announced as the new CEO of the National Museum of the Royal Navy.  The appointment was confirmed by the Board of Trustees following unanimous approval. Mr Sheldon is only the second leader of the UK’s youngest national museum, established in 2009.  

The appointment will support the continued development of the national museum’s portfolio of sites which span Portsmouth, Gosport, Yeovilton, Hartlepool and Belfast.  

Matthew brings to the role over 30 years’ museum expertise as a collections specialist and has driven major capital projects and strategic programmes.  These have broadened audiences, delivered seven-figure investment and driven record-breaking revenue growth.  

After early roles at Bodleian Library, and the Historic Monuments of England, Matthew has developed his experience through a variety of roles within the NMRN; playing a critical role in transforming a single-site museum – The Royal Naval Museum - into the NMRN, the country’s newest national museum, spanning five geographical locations, and building its reputation and success.  

His wealth of knowledge of the ships and collections in the NMRN’s care is underpinned by over 20 years in curating, interpreting and managing its 2.5m heritage assets.  Later roles saw him take a lead in the strategic direction of the National Museum, with his most recent role as Executive Director of Museum Operations, blending his heritage skills with oversight of all operational and trading activity. 

Sir Philip Jones, Chair of the Board of Trustees for the NMRN says, “The Trustees are delighted to announce the appointment of Matthew Sheldon as the new Chief Executive Officer for the National Museum of the Royal Navy. Matthew was chosen because he brings a passion for the story of our Royal Navy, not just its historical significance, but the relevance it still holds today. This is crucial if we are to deliver our vision to connect Navy with Nation. He has also demonstrated, through his career at the NMRN, an aptitude for balancing the needs of a national museum, to share complex and compelling storytelling, whilst also achieving meaningful commercial impact. These will be crucial as the National Museum seeks to develop a series of strategic projects across its portfolio of sites with major capital investments at Portsmouth and Hartlepool, as well as a comprehensive review of its brand. I look forward to working with him to achieve our shared ambitions”. 

Matthew Sheldon, incoming Chief Executive Officer of the NMRN, says, “I am thrilled and not a little daunted to have the privilege of leading the Royal Navy’s National Museum through the next stage of its development. Having worked in Portsmouth and across our diverse sites, I know my good fortune at having such a fantastic, committed, knowledgeable team of staff and volunteers to help. The National Museum has a record of achievements to be proud of, but there is so much more we can do. I look forward especially to strengthening and building the partnerships which will help accelerate change”

Matthew replaces former Director General Professor Dominic Tweddle who left NMRN in November 2023 after 14 years, and was recently announced as Director of Trustees for The Wellington Trust.

Source: Press release

Matthew Sheldon Zone South East