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Jude Kelly CBE

Founder of the Women of the World festival

Jude Kelly CBE is the Founder of WOW: Women of the World Festival. Founded in 2011, the festival celebrates the achievements of women and girls everywhere, as well as recognising the obstacles they face.

In 2018, Jude stepped down from her role as Artistic Director of the Southbank Centre – a position she had held for 12 years.

She founded Solent People's Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre, and was the founding director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse. In 1997, she was awarded an OBE for her services to theatre, and in 2015 she was made a CBE in the New Year honours for services to the Arts. She has directed over 100 productions from the Royal Shakespeare Company to the Châtalet in Paris.

She led the cultural team for the successful London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic bid and then served on the Board of the cultural Olympiad. She is a regular broadcaster and commentator on a range of issues relating to society, art and education.