Jennifer Bott, AO
Jennifer Bott is a professional mentor, board member, project manager and consultant. She is the current Artistic Director of the Canberra Writers Festival, the Chair of the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) and Advisor, Innovation and Development at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House. She also serves as a Trustee of the Australian Museum, Director of the Bundanon Trust and is a board member of the Sydney Orthopedic Research Institute, the Canberra Writers Festival and the NIDA Foundation Trust.
During 2013/14, Jenny served as Acting Director and then Special Advisor at the National Portrait Gallery of Australia. Prior to this she conducted a major review of External Relations for the Art Gallery of New South Wales as well as the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute.
She was Chief Executive of the University of New South Wales Foundation from 2006 to October 2012. The Foundation generates philanthropic income for the University from business, foundations, alumni and other sources and built its annual fundraising income from $5M in 2006 to over $24M in 2012. Jenny was a member of the Executive Team of the University reporting jointly to the Vice-Chancellor and to the Chairman of the Foundation Board (the Chancellor).
Jenny was awarded an AO in 2012 for distinguished service to the arts through executive and leadership roles in national cultural organisations, and to the development of policy reform initiatives promoting funding and best practice.
From 1999 to 2006, Jenny was the CEO of the Australia Council, the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body. During her tenure as CEO, the Australia Council generated significant new funds for the arts through the Major Performing Arts Enquiry, the Orchestras Review, the Contemporary Visual Arts and Crafts Inquiry and new government initiatives such as New Australian Stories and Books Alive (now Get Reading). These successful new investments in the arts involved working closely with state and federal governments, analyzing the desired outcomes and engaging significant respected business and community leaders to drive solutions. An important part of the Australia Council role was Australia’s international cultural program which included the Venice Biennale and the Musee du quai Branly project in Paris.
Before joining the Australia Council, Jennifer spent seven years as General Manager of Musica Viva Australia. Previous to this she was National Director of AFS International Programs, an international student exchange and intercultural learning program. She has also held senior management and Board positions at Opera Australia and the Arts Council of Australia.
She is a member of Chief Executive Women, Vice-President of Australians for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, a life member of the Opera Australia Benevolent Fund, a Life Member of Musica Viva Australia, a Friend of Carers NSW and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Jennifer is also a community representative of the Review Panel for the Royal Australian College of Physicians.
From 2009 to 2013, Jenny was Chair of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music based in Townsville. She was a board member of Opera Australia, UNSW Press and the Australian Institute of Arts Management, Deputy Chair of AFS International Programs (New York), Chair of Australasian Classical Music Managers’ Association and also participated in the Sydney Leadership Program 2002 (Benevolent Society of NSW). She was also Australia’s Cultural Commissioner for the Athens 2004 Olympics as well as a member of the Australia International Cultural Council.
An English and History teacher by training, Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (University of Sydney), a Diploma of Education (University of New England) and has trained extensively in organizational development, management and commercial mediation. She has studied counselling subjects to support her professional mentoring building towards a Graduate Diploma.