Directors

Sara Wajid MBE - Co-CEO

Sara Wajid

Sara is Co-CEO alongside Zak Mensah – this job-share CEO partnership is a first in the museum sector and signals Birmingham Museum Trust’s commitment to inclusive working practices. Sara was formerly Head of Engagement at Museum of London and Head of Interpretation at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in 2017. Before working in museums she was a cultural commentator, journalist and editor. She is a trustee of the Pitt Rivers Museum, a judge of the Museum Activism award, a member of the Museum Detox network for people of colour in museums and an active advocate for diversity and equality issues in the arts.

Zak Mensah - Co-CEO

Zak Mensah

Zak is Co-CEO jointly responsible for setting our direction as part of the executive. Zak is excited about helping people to make a ruckus. Zak has been a freelancer, staff development officer, Head of Digital, and Head of Transformation. In addition to helping his own organisation, Zak shares his skills and expertise as a regular public speaker and trustee of the Association for Cultural Enterprises and Culture 24. Contact Zak Mensah

Toby Watley - Director of Collections

Toby Watley

Toby leads on Birmingham Museums’ exhibitions, curatorial, collections management and acquisitions, conservation and research programmes. Since 2001 he has worked in a variety of roles from Curator of Fine Art to Head of Programming, and has led numerous capital projects including the £9m award winning Birmingham history galleries at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. 

Throughout his career Toby has led a vast range of community projects, engaging diverse communities with art, history and world cultures. These have included oral and video history projects, contemporary collecting, artist-led participatory projects and social cohesion programmes, giving communities a voice within museums. Toby has also worked with universities on partnership projects including collaborative research, collaborative PhDs, knowledge exchange programmes, digital innovation and public engagement.

Rachel Cockett - Director of Development

Rachel Cockett

Rachel leads the Development team. Fundraising generates 10% of BMT's £12M p/a income. Her role is to increase income through fundraising activities, supporting programme delivery and development, and stakeholder management. Rachel and her team lead on securing revenue and capital income from public grants, trusts & foundations, individuals, and sponsorship. Rachel began working for Birmingham Museums in 2000, progressing through collections management roles, to managing multi-million pound funded programmes. She has also worked at Ikon Gallery, MLA West Midlands and Birmingham City University.

Rachel is a Fellow of the Museums Association, a member of the Museums Accreditation Committee, and an Associate Member of the Institute of Fundraising.

Janine Eason - Director of Engagement

Janine Eason

Janine leads the marketing, digital, learning and community engagement teams to grow, diversify and engage Birmingham Museums’ visitors with the collection and inspire learning and enjoyment across nine venues. She also leads the Museum and Art Gallery; including visitor services, and plays a key role in shaping the museum’s redevelopment plans to attract Birmingham’s young and diverse population.

Prior to joining Birmingham Museums Trust, Janine was Director of Exhibitions at Thinktank Trust where she developed the museum’s masterplan and led £7m of capital projects including the digital planetarium and new galleries. She led a multi-disciplinary team to create the award-winning Science Garden as part of the city’s Eastside City Park project. Janine had a leading role in the creation of Thinktank, working as part of the original team that initiated the concept and secured £50m funding.

Janine previously worked at the Natural History Museum and as an A Level and GSCE tutor. She is a Fellow of the Noyce Leadership Institute.