The Secretary of State reappointed Michael Birshan and Eleanor Whitley as governors of the British Film Institute.

Michael Birshan

Reappointed for a four year term commencing 17 February 2024. 

Michael is a Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company and global co-leader of the firm’s Strategy & Corporate Finance Practice.

Based in London, and previously in San Francisco and Mumbai, Michael has worked with CEOs, boards, and executive teams around the world across a diverse set of industries, as well as institutions in the public and social sectors. He also serves on the Council of the McKinsey Global Institute, which researches economic, business and technology issues. Committed to helping talented leaders succeed as individuals, Michael co-leads McKinsey’s work research on CEO excellence. He writes and speaks widely on strategy, finance, economics, trends, and leadership.

Passionate about education, communication and creativity, Michael is a governor of the Royal College of Art, the world’s top-ranked art and design university, and has been a commissioner of the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission that stewards the Marshall Scholarships, a trustee of the World Schools Debating Championships, and a member of the advisory council of King’s Business School. He is also a director of British American Business.

Michael has served as a governor of the BFI for four years and chairs the Finance Committee.

Eleanor Whitley

Reappointed for a four year term commencing 17 February 2024. 

Eleanor (Nell) Whitley has a reputation for driving forward ambitious work in a variety of forms – live events, art installations & digital media – her collaborations with Marshmallow Laser Feast (where she is Partner & Executive Producer) demonstrate a unique vision for the future of creative experiences. She has produced the critically acclaimed In the Eyes of the Animal (featured at Sundance & winner of the Wired Award for Innovation in Experience Design) and other mixed reality works, including; Treehugger (Tribeca Film Festival Storyscapes Award & Best VR Film at Arles Festival) and We Live in an Ocean of Air which premiered at the Saatchi Gallery, London winning the British Animation Award for VR. Marshmallow Laser Feast’s work has been included in major exhibitions at institutions including; ACMI, Barbican Centre, YCAM, DDB Seoul, Sundance Film Festival, Quartier des Spectacles, Montreal, SXSW, and Lisbon Architecture Triennale.

Remuneration and Governance Code

Governors of the British Film Institute are not remunerated.

This appointment has been made in accordance with the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments.

The appointments process is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. Under the Code, any significant political activity undertaken by an appointee in the last five years must be declared. This is defined as including holding office, public speaking, making a recordable donation, or candidature for election. Michael Birshan and Eleanor Whitley have not declared any significant political activity.

Published 21 February 2024