Jul 22 2015

Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District Authority Appoints Duncan Pescod As New Chief Executive Officer

by Denise Chu

Members of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority: (from left) board member Ronald Arculli; current COO Duncan Pescod, who will assume the role of CEO; current CEO Michael Lynch; and board chairman Carrie Lam, who is also chief secretary of the Hong Kong government. Photo by Denise Chu for ArtAsiaPacific.

As of August 3, 2015, Duncan Pescod will assume duty as the new chief executive officer of Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA). He will leave his current post as chief operating officer of WKCDA to assume the CEO role from Michael Lynch, who tendered his resignation in February.

Carrie Lam, chairman of the WKCDA board, Ronald Arculli, WKCDA board member, Lynch and Pescod were present at the WKCDA office in Tsim Sha Tsui to make the announcement on July 21, 2015. Lam also chaired the recruitment board established for the CEO role and explained that “Pescod’s in-depth understanding of Hong Kong, his many years of government service and his wealth of executive and management experience have furnished him with the necessary skills to navigate the complexities involved in pushing forward a project of this magnitude and scale.” She added that Lynch and Pescod have been working together closely over the last few months, where the former has been equipping the latter with knowledge of the project’s many demands and challenges.

Lynch will remain a special consultant to WKCDA over the next year, during which he will continue to promote the West Kowloon project on the international stage. Lynch emphasized that WKCDA has a very strong team of 210 qualified individuals in place to lead the various arms of the project in productive directions.

Pescod expressed his delight in being appointed and vowed to “continue to make progress to deliver not just the project that is underway now, but the project as a whole for the people of Hong Kong.” He concluded by saying, “Not only do the arts and cultural communities derive huge benefits from this project, but the community of Hong Kong will be able to see that arts and culture can be the fundamental driver of economic and social development. That’s what I believe this project offers to us all.” With Pescod having served as WKCDA’s COO over the last nine months, his new appointment will allow the organization to maintain some continuity, especially after a slew of premature resignations by three former CEOs.

As COO of WKCDA, Pescod is responsible for the project’s infrastructural development and commercial and operational planning. His more than 30 years of service with the Hong Kong government have included tenures at former Home Affairs Security, Lands Department, Urban Services Department, City and New Territories Administration departments, among others. Most recently, he was director of housing from 2010 to 2014.

Denise Chu is managing editor at ArtAsiaPacific.