The British Institute of Florence has announced its new director. Simon Gammell comes to the historic institution after a 30-year career with the British Council, most recently as Country Director in Poland. Gammell studied History and English at Cambridge before training as a teacher at the University of London. Soon after graduating, he moved to Florence and taught at the British Institute for two years, during which time he established an Anglo-Italian theatre group in the city before returning to UK to train and work as a Theatre Director for a number of years. In 1987, he started a four-year position with the British Council in Rome. Subsequent postings with the British Council took him to Buenos Aires, Sydney, Mumbai and Los Angeles, always with a strong focus on arts and education programmes.

Simon Gammell

In 2004, he was awarded an OBE for services to British-Australian relations. He will take up his appointment in October.

Gammell replaces Julia Race, who after five years as director has moved to a new role at SOAS University of London, where she has been appointed director of external engagement and public affairs.