Dame Heather Rabbatts DBE

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Non-Exec Director, Grosvenor

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Heather has held challenging positions in both the private and public sector. She made headlines when she took over at Lambeth, seen as the worst council in London, and again at Millwall FC. In each case she succeeded in regenerating embattled organisations. She’s since served on Crossrail’s board and become the first female Director at the FA. Heather sets out how to tackle resistance to change, push boundaries and increase the number of women leaders.


Heather Rabbatts is a businesswoman whose career covers law, government, sport and media, including high profile positions at Millwall Football Club and Channel 4.

Starting her career as a barrister, Heather became a government advisor and then worked in local government; first as Deputy Chief Executive of Hammersmith and Fulham before becoming CEO of the London Borough of Lambeth, regarded as the worst job in local government. She introduced a more dynamic culture with new efforts in housing, education and council tax collection and was widely credited for establishing a fundamental, and positive, change in the organisation.

Heather joined Channel 4 as Head of Education, commissioning programmes and projects and introducing a range of talent development initiatives. She also served as a Governor of the BBC.Her work in private equity drew her to football and the restructuring of Millwall where she was Executive Chair. She saw the role in three parts: spearheading regeneration in the local area, modernising a stock market listed company and transforming a football club with a ‘challenging reputation’ inside and out.

Managing Director of international film and TV production company Smuggler Entertainment Heather is also a Non-Executive Director of Grosvenor, one of the UK’s biggest landlords. She serves on the boards of Arts Alliance, the Royal Opera House, and the Football Association, where she also heads the FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board. She has served on the board of Crossrail and in supervisory roles at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the LSE, and the British Council. She was also a non-Executive Director of the Bank of England.

Heather speaks on leading and managing change in the most demanding of environments as well as areas around attracting and retaining talent and increasing workplace diversity.

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