Five Members appointed to the British Library Board

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has appointed Jana Bennett, Delroy Beverley, Laela Pakpour-Tabrizi, Jeremy Silver and Wei Yang to the British Library Board for four years from 13 May 2019.

Delroy Beverley is an Executive Director at Nottingham City Homes (NCH), an award- winning housing company, which manages 27,500 homes. He has contributed to record customer satisfaction levels by instituting significant organisational change. His inspirational leadership contributed to the company winning the coveted ‘Landlord of the Year 2018’. With over three decades of leadership experience across housing, local government and the private sector, he was, in 2018 voted one of the most influential BME Leader in UK housing in 2018. In 2015 became the first person from social housing to be named the Institute of Directors’ Director of the Year; and he is the first male BME member of the UK Government’s Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation Board. Also, in 2015, he was elected to the Chartered Management Institute’s Companions Network, which shares best practice, nationally in the field of management and leadership. He was appointed Regional Chairman for CMI, North, East, Yorkshire and Humberside Board. He previously served on the Advisory Council of The British Library. In 2014, he became the first ever BME Chairman of a European International Business School.

Jeremy Silver is an entrepreneur, author and angel investor. He is CEO of Digital Catapult, a member of the UK Creative industries Council and chairs its Innovation Working Group. He is Chair of the 5G Advisory Committee to the European Space Agency. He is a member of the British Library Advisory Council. He was Executive Chairman of Semetric (acquired by Apple). He was an advisor to Shazam (acquired by Apple). He was CEO of Sibelius Software (acquired by Avid) and co-founded Uplister Inc, the world’s first music playlist sharing service. He was Worldwide Vice-President of New Media for EMI Music Group in Los Angeles and before that Media Director at Virgin Records where he worked with Genesis, Massive Attack. Brian Eno, and Bryan Ferry. His book Digital Medieval explores the first twenty years of music on the web and his predictions for the future. He has spoken at numerous conferences including the CBI, TEDx House of Parliament and many other trade events. He is an Industry Fellow of the CREATe centre at the University of Glasgow and has a PhD in English Literature, from the University of London.

Dr Wei Yang FAcSS FRTPI is a renowned town planner and urban designer with considerable wealth of experience in leading large scale urban regeneration and low carbon master planning projects in Britain and internationally. Wei is currently the Chairman of Wei Yang & Partners, an award-winning urban design and master planning practice in London. The firm supports and fosters knowledge transfer between practice and research, and is a member of Westminster Sustainable Business Forum. Wei is a Fellow of Academy of Social Sciences, a Fellow of Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), and a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Client Adviser. She is also a key figure in promoting green & low-carbon development approach in China. She served as the Co-Chair of the UK-China Eco-Cities & Green Building Group (2013-2016), and has chaired and spoken at numerous conferences and missions to broadcast UK’s best planning practice worldwide, including the UK-China Business Summits during several state visits. Actively promoting joined-up thinking between different professionals, Wei is the Vice-chair of RTPI International Committee, an Independent Trustee of the Landscape Institute, and a Board Trustee of Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre.

Jana Bennett was born in the United States and moved to the UK as a teenager. She was educated at Bognor Regis Comprehensive School, St Anne’s College, Oxford and the London School of Economics. She was Co-Editor of the academic journal Millennium before joining the BBC as a trainee news journalist. At the BBC she worked on Newsnight and Panorama before being appointed the first female Editor of Horizon in 1990 and subsequently Head of BBC Television’s Science and Features Department. In 1999 Jana moved to the United States to lead The Learning Channel, one of the Discovery networks. in 2000 Jana was awarded an OBE for services to science communications and broadcasting. In 2002 she returned to the BBC as Director of Television in charge of all the BBC’s Television channels, sitting on the BBC Executive Board. She was also responsible for BBC Television’s Regional Out of London Strategy, as well as the BBC’s Learning and and Knowledge-building Strategy across many genres. After more than 8 years leading the television service she moved to the BBC’s international commercial arm, BBC Worldwide to become President of Worldwide Networks and Global iPlayer. In 2013 she returned to the US to launch a channel for Arts & Entertainment Networks and subsequently became President of the History Channel there. Jana is currently a non-executive director on the Board of Pew Research Center, the Washington based non-partisan fact tank; and a Senior Advisor and Executive-at-Large for Ozy Media. She has also served as a Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company (2006-2016); a Trustee of The Natural History Museum (1996-2001); a Trustee of Comic Relief, and is a Fellow of the Royal Television Society and the Royal Geographical Society.

Laela Pakpour-Tabrizi is the Group Chief Financial Officer of MotorK, a high growth tech scale-up which is the leading European provider of digital solutions for automotive sales. A key member of the executive leadership of this Venture Capital backed innovative Company, Laela is responsible for c.400 employees and the continued R&D development of a suite of cloud-based software as a service (“SaaS”) CRM and web-marketing products for automotive manufacturers, dealerships and after-sales service garages. Prior to joining MotorK, Laela was Group CFO of VistaJet, a multi-billion dollar global private jet operator and before that worked for the French Corporate and Investment Bank BNP Paribas. In the Structured Finance department, Laela was a credit analyst in Paris and Vice President, Relationship Manager in NYC. She has a Masters’ Degree in Finance and Strategy from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences-Po) and a Bachelor of Science in International Relations from the London School of Economics. A former school governor and local council candidate, Laela was selected as a Franco British Young Leader in 2017 and also recently joined the Board of Women’s Refuge Ashiana Network. Laela has three young children, speaks several languages and enjoys running, doing yoga and reading.

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The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world's largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library's collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. Up to 10 million people visit the British Library website - - every year where they can view up to 4 million digitised collection items and over 40 million pages.