Claire Whitaker, one of the three Serious directors, has been appointed an OBE for Services to Jazz in the Queen’s 2015 Birthday Honours List. The award recognises her long-standing commitment to the scene through her work at Serious, which has included ground-breaking jazz education and professional development schemes, BT River of Music​, and securing sponsorship for the EFG London Jazz Festival​ from long-standing partners, EFG​, to help grow this significant event.  

In addition to her work at Serious, Claire is also chair of the Royal Commonwealth Society​, council member of the The Caine Prize for African Writing​, trustee of Africa 95 and Magna Carta Trust, chair of Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Artworks initiative and spent seven years as arts adviser for their Arts Programme Committee. Following an MA in Cultural Leadership at City University London​, she was named as one of the Cultural Leadership Programme’s Women To Watch in 2010.