Kingston Grammar School Appoints Rose Theatre CEO as New Chair of Governors


Kingston Grammar School is delighted to have appointed the Chief Executive of Kingston’s renowned Rose Theatre, Robert O’Dowd, as its new Chairman of Governors. Mr O’Dowd replaces Dermot Rice who steps down as a Governor this summer after a 15-year association with the School. Dermot became a KGS parent in 2003, was appointed a Governor in 2010 and became Chairman in 2015.

In welcoming the new Chairman, Head Master Stephen Lehec said: “We are delighted Robert has agreed to become our new Chairman. Kingston Grammar School has been proud to be the exclusive School partner to the Rose Theatre and it was wonderful to be able to bring Robert on board as a Governor. Robert knows the School, it’s history, status and traditions very well. As current CEO of the Kingston Rose Theatre and Vice-President of the Kingston Chamber of Commerce he also brings with him a wealth of local knowledge, contacts and commercial experience that will help to develop Kingston Grammar School and build upon the good work the Governors have initiated over the last four years.”

He added: “It goes without saying that we are indebted to Dermot for all of his hard work throughout his tenure as Governor and Chairman of Governors. He has made a hugely positive contribution to the School and we shall miss him. Our latest ISI report demonstrates how successful we have been in developing the school’s strategy for the future.”

Robert O’Dowd commented: “I am delighted and honoured to become the Chairman of Governors at Kingston Grammar School and I look forward to building on the hard work of Dermot and the rest of the Governing Body. My focus will be to ensure that we are ready to build upon our USP of academic success while nurturing our unrivalled pastoral care and exceptional co-curricular opportunities for every student.”

Robert O’Dowd joined the Rose Theatre in November 2011 having previously been Chief Executive of Pontio a Performance Art and Innovation Centre in Bangor, North Wales. Prior to that he was Chief Executive of Designs of the Time, a ten-year public engagement with design programme set up by the Design Council. Robert was also a founding director of Classic FM and had a long career in retail, concluding as Buying and Merchandising Director of House of Fraser. His passion is to create and develop sustainable performing arts businesses. He was asked to join the Rose to build on the work that had been done since it opened and to develop a long-term, financially secure. Robert is a life-long rower and lives with his wife in Putney where they brought up their two daughters. Robert is the Vice Chairman of Kingston First, a board member of the Kingston Chamber of Commerce where he was the most recent past President, a board member of Creative Kingston and a trustee of Creative Youth a Kingston based charity.

Robert O’Dowd is due to assume his post as Chairman of Governors at Kingston Grammar School in June 2018.

Photographed from left to right: Robert O' Dowd incoming Chair of Governors, Stephen Lehec KGS Head Master, Dermot Rice Outgoing Chair of Governors