Director of Operations, Royal Opera House
Heather Walker has spent her career working for artistic and cultural organisations in a range of roles across operations, programming, business planning and change management, delivering complex projects and constantly driving business improvement.
She is currently the Director of Operations at the Royal Opera House responsible a range of functions including technical, production, visitor experience, IT, HR, facilities and administration together employing some 600 staff. She is also leading on Renewal, a major change and estate-upgrade project with sustainability – environmental and operational – at its core.
Heather’s career started at the Royal Albert Hall where she held a variety of roles in ticketing, visitor services, commercial operations and programming. As its Deputy Chief Executive from 2000, she led the development of a new operating model for the organisation to coincide with the completion of a major redevelopment of the building.
Heather’s next role at Melbourne’s Arts Centre in Australia involved implementing a series of major change projects following which she returned to London and undertook consultancy projects for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Roundhouse, Southbank Centre and National Theatre – reviewing operations and contributing to business re-modelling.
Prior to joining the ROH, she was the Chief Operating Officer at the Roundhouse with responsibility for driving commercial income, managing operations and delivering a £3m project to create new accommodation facilities from recycled shipping containers.
Heather studied piano and singing at the Royal College of Music and lives in London.