Bio in 400 words

Venu is the Managing Director of VSDB Consultancy.

Former roles include:  Senior Director of Programmes at Stonewall; Senior Executive at Creative Scotland where she was part of the leadership team with responsibility for the Arts, portfolio review, the organisational re-structure (budget responsibility £30million), developing 15 new investment programmes and the new International Engagement Strategy; World-wide Director Arts for the British Council where she led and successfully completed the first international consultation/review in 25 years on the Council’s global arts strategy; Director of the Creative Innovation Unit at the Southbank Centre (Europe’s largest cultural centre); Fellowship Director at NESTA, the UKs National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts where she took on the leadership of new programmes, managed a portfolio value of £13million and grew an International Strategy; Chief Executive at the Nottingham Playhouse one of the UKs major repertory companies;  and Producer (Mobile Touring) at the Royal National Theatre.  She was also the inaugural Chair of the East Midlands Cultural Consortium appointed by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

Venu is motivated by positive social change, social justice and entrepreneurship.  In 2010 she led the cultural celebrations for Commonwealth Day (as Creative Director) in London and she has been awarded the prestigious UKs National Asian Woman of Achievement Award.  She holds two Visiting Professorships, one at the University of Nottingham Trent (Art and International) and the other at the University of the West of Scotland (Culture, Media and Society). She has been an External Examiner on the MA in Creative Entrepreneurship for the University of East Anglia and is currently engaged in a similar role for the Open University.

Alongside professional roles has been a: Trustee of the Theatres Trust, a Member of University College London’s Museums and Heritage Committee; a Governor of Guildford Conservatoire; a Council Member of Loughborough University; a Member of the Institute of Ideas; a Fellow of the RSA; a Board member of Saheylia (Women and Mental Health.)

Current Non Executive Roles are:  As a Patron of the Asha Foundation; Co-Editor of the International Journal for Creativity and Human Development; and Non-Executive Director of Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust.  She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce and a Member of the European Cultural Parliament.