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Deborah Annetts

Chief Executive

Deborah became ISM Chief Executive in 2008 and since then, our membership has more than doubled in size to over 11,000. She is responsible for leading the development and implementation of the ISM Group’s vision, mission, and strategic direction.

She is a qualified solicitor and before joining the not-for-profit sector was a Partner at a city law firm, specialising in employment law.

Deborah leads the ISM in our aim to ensure the survival of the music profession. She has led a major change programme at the ISM covering every aspect of our work: from setting up our sister charity the ISM Trust and growing our in-house legal function, to developing focussed campaigns on key issues affecting the music sector including music education, COVID-19, Brexit, diversity, and copyright.

She is an established public speaker, writer and commentator and has addressed Parliament several times. Deborah was also named on BBC Woman’s Hour Power List: Top 40 in 2018.

Outside of the ISM, Deborah is Chair of the Educational Recording Agency (ERA) and former Chair of the human rights charity Fair Trials International. In her spare time, she enjoys all forms of the arts from music and the theatre to obscure black and white films.