Former Director of National Museums Liverpool joins Liverpool Hope University as Professor of Public History


Dr David Fleming OBE, who retired from his post as Director of National Museums Liverpool in March, is the newest member of the Department of History and Politics at Liverpool Hope University. He will take up the position of Professor of Public History on Monday 16th April 2018.

David has published extensively and has lectured and advised museums, municipalities and governments worldwide in more than 40 countries on museum management and leadership, city history museums, museum ethics, cultural heritage management, social inclusion and human rights.

Since he became Director of National Museums Liverpool audiences have quadrupled, rising from around 700,000 per year to more than 3.2 million.


Associate Professor Sonja Tiernan, Head of the Department of History and Politics at Liverpool Hope welcomed the new appointment and said,

“We are delighted to welcome Professor Fleming to our Department to engage with him and his work. Professor Fleming’s appointment strengthens Liverpool Hope University’s partnership with National Museums Liverpool, through which our students in History benefit from talks by curators, and field trips to exhibitions and events related to their course of study.

“While based at Hope, Professor Fleming will be available to advise students on the direction of their research projects and will contribute to teaching on his research specialism at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.”

Professor Fleming has been a Visiting Professor in Museum Studies at the University since 2013, and discussed how museums change lives in his inaugural Professorial lecture.

He commented, “I am very proud of what we achieved at National Museums Liverpool. I leave behind the most effective team of people in any museum service in the world.

“At Liverpool Hope a new challenge awaits me. I love Hope’s positive approach to social justice and I will do my very best to help ensure that the University is one where the students and staff can hold their heads high.”

refurbishment of both the Walker Art Gallery and World Museum, the opening of the International Slavery Museum in 2007, and the creation and opening of the Museum of Liverpool in 2011.

Before arriving in Liverpool, David was Director of the multi-award-winning Tyne and Wear Museums for 11 years, where he led teams delivering major capital developments (including Newcastle Discovery Museum, Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens and Segedunum Roman Fort and Museum) and massive audience growth. Prior to that he was principal keeper at Hull Museums, where his major projects included a new Transport Museum and The Old Grammar School. He started his museum career as founder-curator of the Yorkshire Museum of Farming, York.

David Fleming’s retirement as Director of National Museums Liverpool also coincides with the end of his second term as president of the Museums Association (MA).

He has served on several Government committees and task forces, and in 2002 was named in the Independent on Sunday as one of 10 leading people in UK museums. He was awarded an OBE in the 1997 New Year’s Honours List for services to museums.

He sits on a number of boards and governing bodies, and is currently:

  • President, Museums Association (from April 2015)
  • Founding President of the Federation of International Human Rights Museums
  • Member, Steering Group, Liverpool World Heritage Site
  • Founding President of the Social Justice Alliance for Museums (SJAM)
  • Visiting Professor of Museum Studies, Liverpool Hope University
  • Special Advisor, Museum for International Democracy, Rosario, Argentina
  • Member, ICOM Ethics Committee

About Liverpool Hope University

With a history extending more than 170 years, Liverpool Hope has a rich heritage that pre-dates many ‘red brick’ universities, but remains focused on the future.

The university has two main campuses- Hope Park, Childwall and the Creative Campus in Liverpool city centre. Both have seen major investment, so traditional architecture now sits beside contemporary buildings and facilities.

  • The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018 places Liverpool Hope as one of the top three universities in the UK for Teaching Quality, and top five in the UK for student experience.
  • In the Complete University Guide 2018, we are 2nd in the UK for Student Satisfaction.
  • In the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF year 2), Liverpool Hope received Gold rating, (only one of the three universities in Liverpool to get Gold rating). Only one in five Higher Education providers across the UK has achieved the Gold standard.