The Radio Academy has announced the appointment of Aradhna Tayal Leach as the new Managing Director, taking on the role with immediate effect.
Following a competitive process, Aradhna joins the Academy to continue to build and expand the role of the charity, in sharing best practice and celebrating amazing audio.
She will work closely with Chair of trustees Helen Thomas, Deputy Chair Nick Pitts and the rest of the board to continue to also ensure that focal moments such as The ARIAS, The Radio Academy Festival, The Radio Academy Mentoring Programme, 30 Under 30 and other initiatives grow and continue to remain relevant in the ever-expanding audio sector.
Aradhna is no stranger to the Academy, having previously been a Trustee between 2018 and 2020 and being honoured with a Fellowship upon leaving to recognise her considerable work in the sector.
While a Trustee, she led on the Academy’s Diversity & Inclusion approach, and was instrumental in the industry-supporting Audio & Radio Emergency Fund during the Covid pandemic.
Having built her career as a strategic consultant and leader in media, events and engagement, she brings together extensive experience in the audio, film, TV, arts and technology sectors, with a passion for industry development to better reflect, represent and influence society.
Formerly at the BBC, Aradhna is Director of Radio TechCon, the UK’s audio and radio technology conference. She is trustee of Wac Arts, committee member of the Royal Television Society, London and former Chair of the Jury for their student awards.
Aradhna has led events, initiatives, and strategies across the creative industries. Her portfolio includes BBC Shorts, OKRE Summit, Creative Cities Convention, the Film and TV Charity, the Worldwide Association for Women Journalists and Writers, AudioUK, Sadler’s Wells and the National Theatre.
On taking on the challenge of leading The Radio Academy, Aradhna says: “I’m truly honoured to lead The Radio Academy during the most exciting era for sound since radio transmission was first developed. Audio and storytelling have unique power to positively impact society, and none of this is possible without the people – from the presenters to the technicians. My priority is to support and champion the brilliant people in our audio community, and I believe this starts with building partnerships. I stand for a fully representative and accessible industry that values different perspectives.”
The Chair of Trustees of the Radio Academy, Helen Thomas says: “In a very competitive process, Aradhna blew us away with her passion and clearly articulated vision for the next stage of development at the Radio Academy. I look forward to working with her in this role.”
Aradhna replaces outgoing MD Sam Bailey, who will formally leave post on Friday 7th July to take up his previously announced new role at BFBS. One of her first tasks will be to deliver The Radio Academy Festival, taking place at The Royal College of Physicians in London on Tuesday 12th September.