Since its establishment in 1916, SOAS has built a reputation as one of the world's leading institutions for research and teaching on the Middle East. Drawing on the expertise of over 70 scholars specialising in one or other aspects of that region, SOAS had, from 1966, operated a highly successful Centre for Near and Middle Eastern Studies. The transformation of the Centre into the London Middle East Institute in 2002 included both a quantitive and qualitative change to its already large and diversified programme. Within a year of its founding, the LMEI has become the focal point of Middle Eastern scholarly and outreach activities at SOAS and a principal venue for such activities in London.
The Governing Structure
The LMEI is a registered charity governed by a Board of Trustees. The Board is chaired by the Director of SOAS, and includes four representatives from the academic staff of SOAS, one each from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the University of London and the British Academy, and one member who has relevant business/professional interests. Membership oversight and representation on the Board of Trustees is secured through an annual general meeting.
The LMEI is managed by a Director and is staffed by professional employees who work closely with a large number of volunteers who staff its Advisory Council. Dr Hassan Hakimian is the current Director of the Institute.
Board of Trustees
- Professor Paul Webley (Chairman), Director, SOAS
- Dr John Curtis, British Museum
- HE Sir Vincent Fean KCVO, Consul General to Jerusalem
- Professor Ben Fortna, SOAS
- Professor Richard Black, SOAS
- Mr Alan Jenkins
- Dr Karima Laachir, SOAS
- Dr Dina Matar, SOAS
- Dr Barbara Zollner, Birkbeck College
LMEI Advisory Council
- Lady Barbara Judge (Chair)
- Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber, MBI Al Jaber Foundation (Founding Patron and Donor of LMEI)
- Professor Muhammad A S Abdel Haleem, Near and Middle East Department, SOAS
- HE Khalid Al-Duwaisan GVCO, Ambassador, Embassy of the State of Kuwait
- Mrs Haifa Al Kaylani, Arab International Women’s Forum
- Dr Khalid Bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, President, University College of Bahrain
- Professor Tony Allan, King’s College and SOAS
- Dr Alanoud Alsharekh, LMEI and Fellow, St Antony’s College
- Mr Farad Azima, Iran Heritage Foundation
- Dr Noel Brehony, MENAS Associates Ltd.
- Ms Zeynep Dereli, APCO Worldwide
- Professor Magdy Ishak Hanna, British Egyptian Society
- HE Mr Mazen Kemal Homoud, Ambassador, Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan