With extensive experience in leadership, resilience and organisational transformation, Ciara helps Chief Executives and Boards successfully define and implement changes within their organisations.  Ciara knows first-hand what it takes to lead an organisation through major change with tenacity and sensitivity, always focusing on balancing financial sustainability, organisational impact and employee engagement.


Based in Exeter, where she is Professor of Practice at the University of Exeter Business School, Ciara works with leaders and organisations across the UK and internationally.  She provides a range of consultancy services, together with coaching, mentoring and facilitation packages.

Consultancy and Coaching Services

Ciara Eastell Consulting | Offering consultancy, coaching, leadership and facilitation services
  • Making connections and building leadership at all levels of an organisation.  She identifies the talent and supports and enables that talent to develop.


Ciara’s approach is focused on



Throughout her career, Ciara has worked with a diverse range of organisations to achieve success; often through significant periods of change, transformation and austerity.  


Ciara's Experience


  • Setting up and leading Libraries Unlimited - the award-winning charity operating across Devon – as its founding CEO.  Ten years leading the service in Devon through huge transformation, building a reputation for innovation, experimentation and successful staff and community engagement.  


  • A senior interim role at Tate focused on organisational change and transformation.


  • Significant cultural insight and experience gained through non-exec roles, including current role as National Council member of Arts Council England.

  • Higher education experience gained through her current role as Professor of Practice at the University of Exeter Business School, leading on external engagement for the Exeter Centre for Leadership.


  • A growing reputation for supporting and enabling leaders to understand the potential for digital transformation and automation. 


  • Ciara’s leadership style combines huge ambition for the organisations she works with, so they can make the biggest positive impact possible, along with her kind, calm and generous approach. 





2019 - 2020


Awarded OBE for services to libraries

Head of Libraries, Culture and Heritage in Devon​

2008 - 2016

Automation Fellow with the South West Creative Technology Network www.swctn.org.uk


Appointed Professor of Practice at University of Exeter Business School


Awarded Honorary Doctorate at University of Sheffield


President, Society of Chief Librarians (now Libraries Connected)​

2014 - 2016


Who Ciara works with

Ciara works with leaders from organisations, large and small – across the UK and internationally.  Recent clients include;


  • Advisory group member for Exeter UNESCO City of Literature (2021 – 2022)

  • Faculty member of Oxford Cultural Leadership (2019 – current)

  • Member of Arts Council England’s National Council (2017 – 2022)
  • Member of the British Library’s Advisory Council (2014 – current)
  • Nesta and Observer ‘New Radical’ award for Libraries Unlimited in 2018
  • Honorary doctorate (Doctor of Letters) awarded by University of Sheffield (2019)
  • Awarded OBE for services to libraries in 2017

  • Member, International External Advisory Board, Wellcome Centre for the Cultures and Environments of Health, University of Exeter (2017 – current)
  • Selected as one of 25 women in civic life for a public statue as part of the ‘Put Her Forward’ initiative (2018)
  • Selected as one of Top 100 Women in Social Enterprise (WISE 100) in 2017
  • President of the Society of Chief Librarians, now Libraries Connected (2014 – 2016)

Non-Executive, Honorary roles and Awards

For larger projects, Ciara works with a small group of highly experienced collaborators and associates to deliver additional capacity and expertise when needed. Ciara is an Associate with CountercultureLLP.


  • Sharing ideas, networks and connections.  Ciara’s networks are extensive, reaching across the arts and culture sector, the public sector, charities and social enterprises, as well as higher education and start-ups.  She brings those networks into her work as a trusted advisor, interim leader or coach and mentor, helping you connect with ideas and people that can enrich and expand your work in creative ways.


  • Being kind and generous.  Ciara firmly believes that it’s possible to be a kind and generous leader, whilst also being focused and clear-sighted about what needs to be done.  Bringing kindness into a programme of transformational change can help everyone navigate a difficult period of change with mutual respect whilst maintaining professional boundaries. 


  • Bringing entrepreneurial perspectives and innovation to her consultancy and coaching work.


  • Working with organisations and businesses who are committed to making a difference in the world. 

Founding Chief Executive of Libraries Unlimited

2016 - 2019

Pavilion Dance South West
Ministry of Justice
Bristol City Council
Five Talents
National Centre for Writing
Plymouth Culture
Little Bulb
UWE Bristol
Turner Contemporary
Durham Country Council
Public Libraries
Theatre Bristol
Liverpool Biennial
Sunderland City Council
Compton Verney Art gallery & Park
Exeter Northcott Theatre
barnsley metropolitan borough council
University of Liverpool
redcar and cleveland council
The Box
herefordshire council
Sound and Music
Zabludowicz Collection
Literature Works
Turner Contemporary
Royal Shakespeare Company
Delt Shared Services
Royal Albert Memorial Museum - RAMM
Birmingham Museums
Awards for Young Musicians


Awarded 'People' prize in the inaugural Exeter Impact Award​


Career Timeline

Joined the board of Arts University Plymouth

Senior interim role at Tate focused on People and Culture issues

Ciara Eastell Consulting | Providing consultancy, coaching, leadership and facilitation services


07495 734887



Contact Ciara.

Call or send a message


[email protected]



© Ciara Eastell Consulting Ltd is a company registered England and Wales (Company No. 11987350)


Privacy & Cookie Policy​

Ciara Eastell Consulting | Providing consultancy, coaching, leadership and facilitation services

Sign up to my newsletter here


Thank You!

You have subscribed to the newsletter


This field is required.

Ciara Eastell | Consultancy Services

[email protected]    |    07495 734887

Ciara Eastell | Consultancy Services