New Chair appointed for SAAAP project

18 January 2022

Bob Annibale, Senior Fellow at SOAS University of London, specialising in social, sustainable, inclusive finance, social entrepreneurship and financial justice, has been appointed as the new Chair of the Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme (SAAAP) project.

SAAAP is a transformational programme that aims to further the understanding and preservation of ancient to pre-modern Buddhist and Hindu art and architecture in Southeast Asia. The programme has supported over 90 scholarships between 2014 and 2019, and funds three fully endowed academic posts at SOAS.

Bob is widely recognised as the founder and Global Director of Citi Inclusive (Social) Finance (2005-2020) and his additional leadership of Citi Community Development, which is focused on financial inclusion, immigrant integration, affordable housing, and racial justice in the US. He was honoured as a "Champion of Change" by the Obama administration for his work supporting immigrant integration and citizenship in the US, and by Euromoney as a "Global Impact Banking Champion." For five years Bob was also included in the Financial Times's Outstanding "Top 100 LGBT Business Leaders."

Bob is also working closely with SOAS Library and the Brunei Gallery on a number of initiatives and is organising a major exhibition of contemporary calligraphy from across the Middle East, incorporating works from SOAS’s Library's Special Collections, which will open in January 2023.

Bob said: “It is an absolute pleasure to become part of the Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme at SOAS. The impact the programme has had across scholarship, research and outreach is impressive and I look forward to continuing to strengthen its work across art, archaeology and heritage organisations in the Southeast Asian region.”

Head of the School of Arts Professor Shane McCausland said: “I look forward to working with Bob Annibale on the strategic planning for the next phase of this transformational programme, building on the foundational successes to date. I would also like to pay tribute to Tamsyn Barton who has served as chair of the Board of SAAAP for all the time that I have been the Head of the School of Arts. She has been incredibly supportive of the SAAAP work we have done in the Department across research, scholarships and outreach, including most recently as we have started to bring some of our many alumni, current students and doctoral researchers from Southeast Asian countries into our operations and planning.”

Bob will assume the role on 1 February 2022.