Inaya Folarin Iman and Simon Sebag Montefiore have been appointed by the Prime Minister as Trustees of the National Portrait Gallery for four year terms from 1 August 2021 to 31 July 2025.
Inaya Folarin Iman is a journalist, political commentator and social campaigner. She is the Founder and Director of The Equiano Project, a forum to promote freedom of speech and open dialogue on the subjects of race, identity and culture. She is on the Board of Advisors for the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism (FAIR).
She has also helped found and deliver numerous freedom of speech initiatives including Index on Censorship’s Free Speech Is For Me, the Free Speech Union and the Free Speech Champions project.
Her freelance journalism has appeared in various publications including The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Times, Standpoint, The Sun, Spiked and others.
Dr Simon Sebag Montefiore is a prize-winning, bestselling historian and novelist whose books are published in 48 languages. ‘Catherine the Great & Potemkin’ was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize. ‘Stalin: the Court of the Red Tsar’ won History of the Year Prize at the British Book Awards.
‘Young Stalin’ won the Costa Biography Prize (UK), the LA Times Biography Prize (US) and Le Grand Prix de Biographie (France.) ‘Jerusalem: the Biography’ won Book of the Year, Jewish Book Council (USA) and Wenjin Prize (People’s Republic of China). ‘The Romanovs’ won the Lupicaia del Terricio Prize (Italy). He is the author of the Moscow Trilogy of novels of which ‘One Night in Winter’ won Political Novel of the Year.
He has written and presented five BBC series on Jerusalem, Rome, Istanbul (‘Byzantium: a tale of three cities’), Spain (‘Blood and Gold’) and Vienna. He read history at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge University, where he received his Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD). A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he is married to the novelist Santa Montefiore and lives in London.
These roles are not remunerated. These appointments have 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. Inaya Folarin Iman has declared that she stood as a candidate for the Brexit Party in the 2019 General Election. Simon Sebag Montefiore has not declared any activity.