The Board of IFACCA is responsible for governing the organisation in keeping with its Constitution. Board Members meet biannually to oversee the general management of business and funds, and to consider applications for membership. Board Members are elected by IFACCA’s membership at the General Assembly, which is held alongside the World Summit on Arts and Culture. More information on current and former members of the board can be found below.


Simon Brault, O.C., O.Q., ChairBilel Aboudi

Director and CEO, Canada Council for the Arts

Simon Brault began his five-year term as Director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts on June 26, 2014. Active in the cultural sector for over 30 years, he has been a driving force behind a number of major cultural projects, most notably as Administrative Director and Director General of the National Theatre School of Canada, and as a founding member and Chair of Culture Montréal from 2002 to 2014. His first non-fiction book, Le facteur C: l’avenir passe par la culture, explains the dramatic rise of cultural concerns in the public agenda. This highly-acclaimed work was published in English as No Culture, No Future. Simon has received numerous distinctions for his commitment to the social recognition of arts and culture, including the Order of Canada, l’Ordre national du Québec, and more recently the Quebec CPA Order’s prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award for bringing together ‘two worlds that were once disparate – the arts and business – an alliance that significantly benefits society at large.’



Orlaith McBrideOrlaith McBride, Deputy Chair

Director, Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon, Ireland

Orlaith McBride is the Director of the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon, the state agency for developing the Arts in Ireland. 

Prior to this appointment, she worked in the arts across a broad range of arts organisations including Local Authorities, arts-in-education, youth arts and theatre. She worked for many years in South Dublin County Council developing and co-ordinating arts projects and programmes before becoming Arts Officer at the National Youth Council of Ireland where she developed the first National Strategy for Young People and the Arts. She was Director of NAYD, the development organisation for youth theatre in Ireland from 2003-2011. She produced the National Youth Theatre at the Peacock Theatre from 2007-2011.


Dong Zhanshun

Director General, International Liaison Dept, China Federation of Literary and Art Circles (CFLAC)

Mr Dong Zhanshun graduated from the Beijing Normal University in 1988 with a bachelor degree in English language and Literature and a master degree in Education. Since 1988 Mr Dong has worked in the field of cultural exchange at CFLAC. With 25 years of experience in culture and arts management, Mr Dong has built a strong network of many high-profile artists and has extensive knowledge of different art forms. He has successfully organized many cultural events, including the China Today Cultural Week and the China International Folk Art Festival, the key cultural exchange brands of CFLAC.


Tan Sri Norliza Binti RofliDatuk Norliza Binti Rolfi

Director-General, National Department for Culture and Arts, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Malaysia 

Tan Sri Norliza Rofli was appointed Director General of the National Department for Culture and Arts in May 2005.  She obtained her BA in Geography (Honours) from the University of Malaya and a masters degree in arts management from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA. As the Director General, Tan Sri Norliza Rofli has played a key role in developing Malaysia’s performing arts scene through promotion, conservation, guidance and training, as well as the development of non-governmental organizations and cultural infrastructure. Tan Sri Norliza Rofli also plays an active role in the culture component of ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information (ASEAN-COCI), and has represented the department at a ministerial level through her attendance of the Meeting of ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Culture and Arts (AMCA) and the Asia Europe Ministers of Culture Meetings (ASEM).


Staffan ForssellStaffan Forssell

Director General of the Swedish Arts Council, Sweden

Staffan Forssell is the Director General of the Swedish Arts Council and has a 20 year career in the field of culture. Mr Forssell has held senior positions in most fields of culture, including music, theatre, dance, film, museums and literature. From 2010 to 2014 he was the Director General of the Swedish Exhibition Agency and from 2008 to 2010 the CEO of the Stage Company in Sundsvall, Sweden. He has also been the managing director of the Swedish Army Museum and of Cosmonova at the Natural History Museum, as well as three years managing the mountain division of the Swedish Touring Club. Mr Forssell has a background as a physicist and prior to his career in culture he spent 8 years in the aviation industry as an officer in the Swedish Air Force where he was a flying weatherman.


Dennis MaritaDennis Marita

Director of Culture at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Solomon Islands

Dennis Marita is traditional Chief by birth and inheritance. He was installed chief in 1977 at a tender age of three as according to sacred customs and obligation of the Ulawa people in Solomon Islands. Education took him into the modern contemporary world and earned him a Bachelor’s Degree (BA) in Theatre Arts from the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) in 2001. He majors in acting and directing with a more focus on local traditional theatre. He worked with local theatre groups and cultural dance groups in Solomon Islands over the past 10 years. He spent six years as a high school teacher and of which his strong cultural background and artistic ability portrays him as one of the country’s top artistic and cultural Expressionist. He joined the government in 2008 as a Senior Cultural Officer in the Ministry of Culture & Tourism. In 2010 he was given the position of Artistic Director for the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts that was later hosted by Solomon Islands in 2012. Currently, he heads the Culture Division as the Director of Culture in Solomon Islands.



Simon Mellor, Treasurer

Deputy Chief Executive, Arts and Culture, Arts Council England  

Simon Mellor is Deputy Chief Executive, Arts and Culture for Arts Council England. He is a member of the ACE Executive Board and has responsibility for national arts and cultural strategy. Prior to joining the Arts Council in 2012, he helped set up the Manchester International Festival in 2006 and was its first General Director. Before that he was the Chief Executive of the Lyric Hammersmith, West London’s leading producing and presenting theatre. He was also the producer founder of Gloria Theatre (an international music theatre company), Youth Arts Projects Coordinator for the Southbank Centre London, Head of Education at Battersea Arts Centre London and Co-Director of Pegasus Theatre in Oxford. 




Andrés Gribnicow

Secretary for Culture and Creativity, Secretary of Culture of the Nation

Andrés Gribnicow currently holds the position of Secretary of Culture and Creativity in the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology of Argentina. As such, he is responsible for the national directorates of diversity and community culture, cultural education and training, creative economy and cultural innovation. He has a Bachelor of Arts and Cultural Management from the National University of Tres de Febrero (UNTREF) and he is an expert in the integral management of cultural, social and economic projects related to non-governmental, public and private organisations in the arts, entertainment, design and cultural industries. In 2015 he was Secretary for Culture in the Municipality of Vicente Lopez, in the Province of Buenos Aires. In 2016 and 2017 he served as Undersecretary of Creative Economy in the Ministry of Culture, Argentina, in charge of the National Directorates of Creative Industries, Cultural Entrepreneurship and Cultural Innovation.



Daina Urbanavičienė

Chairwoman, Lithuanian Council for Culture

Daina Urbanaviciene is the Chairwoman of the Lithuanian Council for Culture - an institution, founded to implement the culture policy. She simultaneously takes the position as a Board Member of Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO, a Board Member at Lithuanian Culture Institute and a Member of Task Force “Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity”. Daina is also a lecturer at Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy and Vilnius Academy of Arts. 

In 2011 Daina Urbanaviciene was elected as a Member of the Vilnius City Council where she held the positions of Deputy Chair of Education, Culture and Sports Committee and Chair of the Street Names and Monuments’ Commission. Ms Urbanaviciene holds a MA in History and Culture History (Vilnius University, 2000) and a MA in UNESCO Cultural Management and Cultural Policy (Vilnius Academy of Arts, 2008).

Patrick Sam

Chairperson, National Arts Council of Namibia

Patrick Sam is a Namibian thought leader, born and raised in a marginalised community in the capital, Windhoek. As the chairperson of the NACN, he has been driving the transformation of the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) in Namibia and southern Africa. Patrick is a development consultant, broadcasting journalist, TV anchor and arts activist. As a Fulbright scholar, he completed an MA in International Education Development from Columbia University Teachers College and a BA from University College Utrecht in the Netherlands. Along with the NACN, Patrick founded and hosted the first Art Summit of Southern Africa (ASSA) focused on strengthening the CCI in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) along with the IFACCA Africa Regional Chapter meeting. The platforms drafted clear resolutions intended to mainstream the CCI into key national and regional development strategies.

Former Board Members

We acknowledge with great appreciation, the many individuals who have served on the board as listed below:

  • Stephen Wainwright (2015–March 2019)
    Chief Executive, Creative New Zealand
  • Rosemary Mangope (2014–January 2019) 
    CEO, National Arts Council, South Africa
  • Jimena Lara Estrada (May–December 2018) 
    Director General of International Affairs at the Ministry of Culture in Mexico
  • Bilel Aboudi (2012–2018)
    Director, Head of Monitoring and Evaluation Unit - Minister's Office, Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Tunisia 
  • Iván Petrella (2016–2018)
    Secretary for Federal Integration and International Cooperation of the Ministry of Culture of Argentina, Argentina 
  • Elise Huffer (2011–2017)
    Adviser, Human Development Programme, The Pacific Community, Fiji 
  • Felipe M. de Leon (2014–2017)
    Chairman, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Philippines
  • Ambassador José Luis Martínez Hernández (2015–2016)
    Director General for International Affairs for the Secretaría de Cultura, Mexico, Mexico 
  • Julia Patricia Fernádez Robinson (2015–2015)
    Director of International Cultural Cooperation in the National Council for Culture and the Arts, Mexico 
  • Poul Bache (Treasurer, 2009–2015) 
    Executive Director, Kunststyrelsen - Danish Agency for Culture
  • Kerstin Brunnberg (2014–2015)
    Chair, Swedish Arts Council 
  • Alan Davey (Chair 2008–2014)
    Chief Executive Officer, Arts Council England 
  • Mwajim Malgwi Maidugu (2013–2014)
    Executive Director, National Council for Arts and Culture, Nigeria 
  • Pramod Jain (2012–2014)
    Joint Secretary, Ministry of Culture, India
  • Huang Wenjuan (2012–2013)
    Director General, International Liaison Department, CFLAC - China Federation of Literary & Art Circles 
  • Magdalena Moreno Mujica (2012–2014)
    Head, International Affairs, Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes, Chile 
  • Kathy Keele (Deputy Chair, 2007–2012)
    Chief Executive Officer, Australia Council for the Arts
  • Robert Sirman (Treasurer, 2006–2012)
    Director and Chief Executive Officer, Canada Council for the Arts 
  • Venu Vasudevan  (2011–2012)
    Joint Secretary, Ministry of Culture, India
  • Pius Knüsel (2011–2012)
    Director, Pro Helvetia Swiss Arts Council 
  • Qu’resh Ahmed (Deputy Chair, 2006–2012)
    General Manager, Bomas of Kenya 
  • Li Mu (2006–2012)
    Vice-President, China Federation of Literary and Art Circles
  • Gonzalo Martín de Marco (2011–2012)
    Deputy National Director, Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes, Chile 
  • Annabell Lebethe (2009–2011)
    Chief Executive Officer, National Arts Council, South Africa 
  • Guillermo Corral Van Damme (2009–2010)
    Director General de Cooperación y Comunicación Cultural, Ministerio de Cultura, Spain
  • Risto Ruohonen (Chair, 2003–2009)
    Chief Executive Officer, Arts Council of Finland 
  • Lee Suan Hiang (Deputy Chair, 2003–2009)
    Chief Executive Officer, National Arts Council, Singapore 
  • Clarisa Ruiz Correal (2006–2009)
    Head of Arts, Ministerio de Cultura de Colombia 
  • Georgia Iliopoulou (2006–2008)
    Managing Director, Hellenic Culture Foundation, Greece 
  • Ian McRae (2006–2007)
    Chair, Theatre Board, Australia Council for the Arts 
  • Kim Evans  (Deputy Chair, 2003–2006)
    Executive Director (Arts), Arts Council England
  • John Hobday (2003–2006)
    Director, Canada Council of Arts 
  • Nguyen Van Tinh (2003–2006)
    Director General (International Cooperation Department) Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Vietnam 
  • Elizabeth Kerr (2005–2006)
    Chief Executive, Creative New Zealand 
  • Patricia Quinn (Co-Chair, 2003–2004)
    Director, Arts Council of Ireland 
  • Octavio Arbeláez Tobón (2003–2006)
    Director, La Red, Colombia 
  • Doreen Nteta (Deputy Chair, 2003–2006)
    Chief Executive Officer, National Arts Council, South Africa 


Interim Board

On 3 December 2000, on the final day of the first World Summit on Arts and Culture in Ottawa, Canada, arts funding agencies from around the globe recommended the establishment of an international federation of arts and cultural support agencies and agreed to the establishment of an interim board.  The members of the interim board, which operated until the formal approval of the federation’s constitution and election of a board in November 2003, included the following individuals:

  • Choo Thiam Siew (2000–2003)
    CEO, National Arts Council of Singapore 
  • Stéphane Martin (2001–2003)
    Director, Musée du quai Branly, France 
  • Fernando Vicario (2001–2003)
    Director, APTEC, Spain 
  • Doreen Nteta (Deputy Chair, 2000–2003)
    Chief Executive Officer, National Arts Council, South Africa 
  • Albanela Pérez Suárez (2000–2001)
    International Relations, Consejo Nacional de la Cultura, Venezuela 
  • Patricia Quinn (2000–2003)
    Director, Arts Council of Ireland 
  • Risto Ruohonen (Treasurer, 2000–2003)
    Government Advisor, Ministry of Education, Finland 
  • Shirley L Thomson (Chair, 2000–2003)
    Director, Canada Council for the Arts