The Orwell Foundation is administrated by a small team under the management of the Director. The Foundation is based at UCL’s Institute for Advanced Studies.
Professor Jean SeatonDirector
Jean Seaton is Professor of Media History at the University of Westminster and the Official Historian of the BBC. Jean became Director of The Orwell Foundation (then, The Orwell Prize) in 2007, taking over from Sir Bernard Crick. Under her stewardship the prize has become Britain’s premier prize for political writing, celebrating honest writing and reporting, confronting uncomfortable truths and uncovering hidden voices. She is the author of Carnage and the Media: the Making and Breaking of News about Violence (Penguin, 2005), with James Curran, Power without Responsibility: the Press and Broadcasting in Britain (8th edition, 2014) and Pinkoes and Traitors: the BBC and the nation, 1974-1987 (2015), serves on the board of the journal The Political Quarterly and is a founding member of several active media NGOs, including Full Fact and the Reuters Institute. She broadcasts regularly on historical, political and cultural matters, including Orwell and his legacy.
Robyn DonaldsonHead of Events, Partnerships and Book Prizes
Robyn Donaldson is the Head of Events, Partnerships and Books Prizes at The Orwell Foundation. After completing her MA in Creative Writing, Robyn embarked on a career in literature, working for organisations such as The Poetry Society, BookTrust, Barbican and The Sunday Times. She has curated international programmes of events ranging from the Children’s Laureate’s term 15-17 to the Orwell Foundations’ own Down and Out: LIVE in Paris and London. She has also project managed prizes including The Women’s Prize, The National Poetry Competition and The Ted Hughes Award. She is a proud trustee of Writing on the Wall, Merseyside’s premier literature festival and manages The Sunday Times Short Story Award.
Jeremy WikeleyHead of Policy, Digital and Journalism Prizes
Jeremy is Head of Policy, Digital and Journalism Prizes. He also edits the Foundation’s website and resources. Jeremy has previously worked in the office of an MP and as a teacher of English as a foreign language. His favourite Orwell book is Keep the Aspidistra Flying, although any similarities between him and the protagonist Gordon Comstock (a disaffected poet living in south London) are wholly coincidental.
Alex TalbottProgrammes Manager, The Orwell Youth Prize
Alex leads on the Orwell Youth Prize, an independent charity under the auspices of The Orwell Foundation. Previously she worked within the Culture Team at King’s College London, and for the European Foundation Centre in Brussels. Alex has a soft spot for Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London, enjoying the comical characterisation and frank commentary. She can also relate to the hierarchies and habits of working in hospitality, and while a Suffolk pub isn’t quite 1920s Paris, the horrors of pot wash still loom large from her teen years as a waitress.