Dixon Walter assist Royal College of Art with appointment of Chief Operating Officer

Dixon Walter were pleased to assist the College with this key appointment which involved an extensive search campaign.

John will play an integral role in overseeing the operations of the College bringing extensive expertise in strategy, governance, stakeholder relations and communications across higher education, the cultural sector, government and international business.

John joins the RCA from King’s College London where he has been COO for Arts and Sciences since 2015. In this role, he oversaw a major £100 million transformation of the iconic Bush House complex and significant redevelopment of the main King’s Strand Campus, as well as leading day-to-day operations and the professional services teams.

Prior to working at King’s, Worne was Director of Strategy & Corporate HQ for the British Council, where he was responsible for strategy, governance and the core Government funding of the UK’s international cultural organisation. He has also held significant roles at the UK Government Cabinet Office and Department of Health.

Commenting on the appointment, Dr Paul Thompson, RCA Vice-Chancellor, said: ‘I’m excited to welcome John to our senior management team where his expertise will be a huge asset to the College.’

‘John’s significant experience at leading educational and cultural organisations will be a great advantage as we move forward with our ambitious plans to expand our estate, expertise and technical provision as a STEAM-led art and design university.’

John Worne commented: ‘To play my part at the RCA in the stewardship and ongoing success of a truly great institution will be both a joy and a privilege.’

Jocelyn Prudence (also appointed through Dixon Walter earlier this year) will continue as interim COO and work closely with Mr Worne during a handover period.

Dr Paul Thompson, RCA Vice-Chancellor commented on the support provided by Dixon Walter as “Dixon Walter were very good at taking and delivering a brief, and were very realistic. Feedback from the successful candidate has also been positive. I would definitely use Dixon Walter again for a similar role.”


Posted by Sarah Walker

Sarah Walker

Higher Education


With Spring well and truly sprung (can someone please tell the weather forecast!), we take stock of the current landscape of Senior Recruitment within HE and certainly it has not been without its challenges of late.

Join us as we take a snapshot of the big topics affecting HE Leadership and Talent Acquisition.

Higher Education


The winners of the AUDE Awards for 2024 were announced at the association’s annual conference at Northumbria University on 17 April 2024. As ever the standard of the nominations was so strong, and to find one winner amongst such high quality submissions was extremely tough for our judges. Nevertheless a winner there must be, and in eight categories! Every single participant should be very proud, for the work done as well as the initiative and energy and drive shown, and we hope they will feel boosted for the whole of the coming year by the acknowledgement from their peers of the great work involved. Gold, silver and bronzes prizes were awarded as shown below