Kathleen Duncan OBE

Kathleen Duncan OBE

Key Facts


A former Director General of the TSB, later Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales, Kathleen was born in Oxford in 1946, and was educated at Christ’s Hospital School and Durham University followed by a diploma in Arts Administration at the Regent Street Polytechnic School of Business Studies, now the University of Westminster. Decades later, she attended a course at Harvard Business School on “Strategic Perspectives in Non Profit Management”.

She began her career at the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain followed by London Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet), was Head of Arts Services at the London Borough of Havering and then Deputy Director at South East Arts.

In 1976, she moved to Hong Kong when her husband Neil (who died in 1997) was appointed to open the new Hong Kong Arts Centre. She was invited by the Performing Right Society to close their Hong Kong agency and establish the independent copyright society for Hong Kong, The Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong (CASH), working closely with the Asian Composers League. She then had great fun building up a new travel company until it qualified to become IATA approved.

Returning to the UK in 1983, she was International Marketing Director for Boosey and Hawkes Music Publishers and ran the St John Ambulance Centenary Appeal. From 1990 – 2005, she was Director General of the TSB which became the Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales during which £140 million was donated to over 30,000 charitable organisations.

Kathleen has held many trusteeships over the years including the Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF), National Family and Parenting Institute and chaired the DfES Parenting Fund, the US Council on Foundations/European Foundation Centre committee on “Accountability for International Philanthropy”, New Philanthropy Capital, and Youth Music and gave the Allen Lane Foundation Lecture in 2009. She is currently a trustee of the Sue Thomson Foundation and the Ann Driver Trust and a member of the Reform Club.

She became a Governor of Christ’s Hospital in 1974 and served on the Council of Almoners for 14 years. Her current presentee at the school is one of a pair of twins, the other being presented by the Ironmongers’ Company.

Kathleen studied the organ and piano and originally planned to read Music at University until she discovered just how much composition was involved. She is a keen concert and opera-goer, occasionally sings in the Really Big Chorus and loves to travel.

A Liveryman of the Musicians’ Company since 2005, she was appointed to the Court in 2008.

Kathleen was appointed OBE in 2007 for services to Charity. She has seven god-children and eight great-nieces and nephews.