SOAS University of London

Statement from Valerie Amos, SOAS Director

31 July 2019

The Director of the London Middle East Institute (LMEI), Dr Hassan Hakimian, has decided to step down after nearly ten years in the role, with effect from October 2019, and will be leaving SOAS shortly thereafter. 

I would like to place on record my sincere thanks for all the work Dr Hakimian has done during his period as Director. 

The London Middle East Institute was established in 2002 to foster scholarly and public interest in the MENA region. Dr Hakimian leaves the LMEI in a stronger position than the one he inherited in 2010 and both I and the School are extremely grateful to him as a result. 

The support team at LMEI – Louise Hosking and Vincenzo Paci in particular – have also chosen to leave SOAS at this time and I would like to thank them for all their hard work and wish them well in all their future endeavours.

Given these imminent changes, and the 17-year history of the LMEI, the time seems propitious for SOAS to review the structure, functioning and purpose of the LMEI as a whole. One option we are considering is whether to bring the LMEI formally into SOAS to take its place alongside our other regional institutes. To be clear, the LMEI will continue to be a valued part of SOAS moving forward.

It is not envisaged that any changes would affect the existing Centres within LMEI, the Centre for Iranian Studies and the Centre for Palestinian Studies.

We value the many relationships and partnerships LMEI has developed with its many stakeholders over time and want to ensure that these continue and flourish.

Best wishes,

Valerie Amos